Throcult - Soldiers Of A Blackened War
Crash Music
Death Black Metal
7 songs (27'13")
Release year: 2003
Crash Music
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

The latest editorial by Ben New Wave of Heavy Metal gave rise to a discussion about which side of the pond known as Atlantic Ocean is more responsible for the birth, re-birth and current shape of Metal. UK? USofA? Mighty Scandinavia? I will neither join the discussion, nor throw my vote in either direction (both sides have good points), but I would like to share one sentiment. I am not sure if I am right, but, nowadays, it surely seems that Europe is a lot more willing to accept less commercial heavy music direction than the US. Small European labels care less about definitely turning a profit on their signed bands roster. It is, therefore, even more commendable when some people here in the US decide to take risks and give a chance to the non-commercial, from the heart, bands. Among others, The End Records, Relapse and Crash/Pavement are leading the way in the US. (Yes, I know I have missed somebody, but, please, don’t start throwing stones).

One of the latest Crash signings are Denver, Colorado local heroes Throcult. They are one of those bands I mentioned above – more worried about what their music sounds like, than whether they follow the trends sufficiently enough to end up on MTV. Throcult relentlessly self-promoted their 3 track demo Hunted last year. I have, in fact, reviewed that work. Now, with some budget backing Throcult released a much more professional looking CD titled Soldiers of a Blackened War.

The album sees Throcult adding 3 more tracks to the aforementioned demo (plus a short ominous intro with demonic whispers). The style of music hasn’t changed at all. And how could it, with 3 tracks from the demo setting the pace? Throcult cunningly combine intelligible brutality of death metal and horror blackened atmosphere. Also, interestingly enough, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t say “Throcult sounds like So-And-So”. Because of the message they are trying to send they did remind me of Naglfar, but nowhere near are these bands similar stylistically.

Intro The Uprising leads into a blaster of a song Dark Cloud Holocaust. Fast and brutal, it sets the tone. However, where Throcult is unique are tracks like Hunted. The opening section of this song features a very clever use of keyboards. Distorted and mangled, they indeed add a lot to the atmosphere. It is if the band knows it, as Throcult like to explore such heavy, crushing mid-song breakdowns on other tracks in the CD (Eclipse of the Blood Moon, Ellipsis). Their nails-in-the-coffin riffs, keyboard touches, powerful drumming and tons of bottom end will have your heart pounding.

For a relatively young band Throcult know not to put all their eggs into one basket. Their tempos are varied, and vocal attack diverse. They don’t just go on a never-ending blast to show off how brutal they can be. Doses of straightforward and blackened thrash (a la Immortal) jive so well together in Kill or Be Killed. Guitars don’t do too much soloing, but where they do (Ellipsis), it is twisted and fitting. The best song, Eclipse of the Blood Moon (in my own humble opinion), combines all the best attributes I have just listed – Dissection-like guitar into, blasting, but melodic sections, awesome slower section in the middle, shrieky black and devilish low timbre vocals, keyboard effects and bells that sound straight out of the Church of Satan.

Compared with their demo, production has improved tremendously. Those plastic garbage cans for drums are gone, vocals are heard, and even more bass is coming out of my stereo. Drumming would have to be the biggest improvement though. Not only Jeremy Portz is fast, he lays some power at the feet of his drum kit.

The only complaint would really be the length of the album. Only 6 songs (again, not counting the intro) with 3 songs coming from the demo. But it is better to do 27 min of good music than 72 min of crap. To make up for it the CD has an extensive bonus multimedia section: 3 live videos, bios, photos, reviews. I am not sure what Crash will charge for this CD which is more like an EP or MCD, but it will be worth your money if you like extreme metal.

Killing Songs :
Eclipse of the Blood Moon, Hunted, Salem, Kill or Be Killed, Ellipsis
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Throcult that we have reviewed:
Throcult - Stormbringer - Conjuration of the Nighthorde reviewed by Alex and quoted 71 / 100
Throcult - Hunted reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!