Battle Dagorath - Eternal Throne
Cold Dimensions
Black Metal, Dark Ambient
9 songs (56:08)
Release year: 2009
Cold Dimensions
Reviewed by Goat

A lot of Black Metal’s mystique depends on presentation – come on, admit it: Wolves In The Throne Room would be much less impressive if they were revealed to be a few scruffy twenty-years olds. Before you’ve even started to play Eternal Throne, the debut album from American horde Battle Dagorath, the icy mountain on the artwork suggests that this will be an epic experience, and it truly is. Taking a sedate pace, and featuring plenty of sampled howling winds, there are few bands around that sum up the experience of walking up a snowy mountain like Battle Dagorath can. In fact, it’s the sampled weather (or what I assume to be sampled weather rather than the side-effects of a poor production…) that saves the band from sounding exactly like other Black Metal bands. It’s quite interesting to hear the howls of vocalist Wulfskrieger merge with the effects, as Witch Hammer’s surprisingly catchy sticksmanship and Black Sorcerer BattleAxe (I wish I was making it up…) churns away on guitar and bass.

Although there’s not a great deal of difference between the songs here, it still makes for a decent listen. The album’s producer, Christoph Zeigler of Vinterriket and Atomtrakt, created the intro and outro and whilst they’re not the greatest keyboard pieces you’ve ever heard, his involvement is reflective of the fact that Eternal Throne is a better album than first impressions would suggest. Ruin Upon The Mountainside throws strange noises at you towards the end, almost like an avalanche of weirdness on your unsuspecting head, and whilst The Dark Fire, The Black Gate doesn’t do much out of the ordinary, it works; the dread-filled vocals, the twisted riffing, the drums beaten to submission – this is Black Metal of quality. Towards the end of the track the switch towards the majestic is rather amazing, and The Marching Shadows Of Eternal Death takes steps towards early Emperor with its epic blizzard, a trend continued on other tracks like Under The Warlord Spell. Carn Dûm takes steps into buzzing ambience, whilst In The Forest Of Frozen Darkness is more melodic and slow at first before taking a frostbitten plunge into chaos.

Despite the clichéd track titles, Battle Dagorath are skilled enough to make Eternal Throne’s shortcomings less important than you might think. Black Metal veterans will appreciate this at face value and grow to like it more as the hidden depths become visible. Like plunging into a snowstorm, this won’t necessarily be much fun, but it’s certainly an experience that some will enjoy.

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Killing Songs :
Dead Eyes Of The Moon, Ruin Upon The Mountainside, In The Forest Of Frozen Darkness
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Battle Dagorath that we have reviewed:
Battle Dagorath - Cursed Storm of Ages reviewed by Andy and quoted 75 / 100
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