Rating:
8.5
God Dethroned - Passiondale
24 April 2009


Disc I
01. The Cross Of Sacrifice
02. Under A Darkening Sky
03. No Man's Land
04. Poison Fog
05. Drowning In Mud
06. Passiondale
07. No Survivors
08. Behind Enemy Lines
09. Fallen Empires
10. Artifacts Of The Great War

Disc II [limited edition] [Live in 2005]
01. Nihilism
02. Boiling Blood
03. The Warcult
04. Soul Sweeper
05. The Art Of Immolation
06. Villa Vampiria
07. The Last Zip Of Spit
08. Sigma Enigma
09. The Serpent King


Like a rat gnawing at your skin while you sleep, God Dethroned's latest not only drops you right into the trenches of one of the bloodiest World War I battlegrounds, it does so with a personal touch that leaves even your own lungs full of mustard gas. Loaded with more aggression than the band has offered in several albums, Passiondale honors the slain with a menacing conviction layered with a crossfire of chaotic and stalwart melodies.

While the band's previous release marked a unique and imperative point of growth musically and lyrically, Passiondale devours all that The Toxic Touch created and reimagines it with all the fury once reserved for older efforts like Bloody Blasphemy. Look no further than the second tour of duty for drummer Roel Sanders, who seems the ideal match for the necessary machine-gun backdrop necessary to evoke an accurate recreation of the subject at hand.

This time around, vocalist and guitarist Henri Sattler took on all the riffs himself, which has made for an internally focused barrage of his characteristic reflective melodic passages with his overwhelming, yet tight death and thrash-infused guitarwork. His vocals are as powerful as ever, offering a raw mix of clarity and emotional depth with an authoritative urgency within his throaty delivery. Sattler's development and perseverance as a composer continues to impress me, as Passiondale burns with maturity and strength yet relies on an inner intensity that never seems satisfied.

Tracks like "Under A Darkening Sky" and "No Man's Land" are instant hits and what immediately drew me into the album, as they are all-out explosions, much reminiscent of waking up to an enemy's onslaught after a fear-driven sleep in the trenches. It's the addition of clean vocals, courtesy Marco van der Velde, however, that push songs like "Poison Fog" and "No Survivors" to a higher level, and make for some of the band's most dynamic work. His singing is like echoes through time that are unearthed each time you visit the battlefields of nearly a century ago, as he speaks verbatim some of the survivors' words that have been preserved all these years. This is a war that has reached the verge of ancient history now, yet each time I hear these songs I find myself in a mental film of poisoned water, death and solitary fear.

"Your country needs you, so come and join our war
It's fun and takes you places you've never seen before"


With interjections of campaign slogans and soldiers' own words and of course the frenzy of the bullet-drenched fields, Passiondale takes on all of the war's most brutal subjects with commanding authority. While the stench, rotting flesh, and endless machine gun fire faded as the stalemate that took 900,000 lives ended, God Dethroned's latest not only personifies this but also delves into the aftereffects of war - those that can make anyone a prisoner of war for life. At once as blunt as a cemetery lined with plain white crosses as it is a serenade played to the tune of a soldier's dying breath, this album has unexpectedly become one of my most respected and favorite releases of the past year.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: God Dethroned
Album: Passiondale


 


written by dismaleuphony | 17.03.2010



Comments

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silenius - 17.03.2010 at 12:32  
Love this album, and thank god the clean vocals arent cheesy at all, they just help to create a great atmosphere^^
I_Die_Often - 17.03.2010 at 16:01  
Great album, great band!
Enigma - 18.03.2010 at 00:06  
One of the best albuns of 2009.
Ag Fox - 18.03.2010 at 15:21  
Listening to it right now. what does all that Japanese in the intro mean?

anyway, thanks for reviewing. Getting into the album right now and it sounds great
LeChron James - 19.03.2010 at 20:57  
The album title sounds like the Iron Maiden song from Dance of Death
Marcel Hubregtse - 20.03.2010 at 01:53  
Written by LeChron James on 19.03.2010 at 20:57

The album title sounds like the Iron Maiden song from Dance of Death


Guess what this album and that song are about.... Okay, I know you are American, but plese DO read up on WWI (that is a one not a two )
Jon - 20.03.2010 at 06:00  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 20.03.2010 at 01:53

Written by LeChron James on 19.03.2010 at 20:57

The album title sounds like the Iron Maiden song from Dance of Death


Guess what this album and that song are about.... Okay, I know you are American, but plese DO read up on WWI (that is a one not a two )


Apparently Iron Maiden are more well-known than one of history's most devastating conflicts. Would they be chuffed by that or mortified?

Glad metal storm finally got round to giving this album its due, its an absolute cracker.
LeChron James - 20.03.2010 at 08:35  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 20.03.2010 at 01:53

Guess what this album and that song are about.... Okay, I know you are American, but plese DO read up on WWI (that is a one not a two )

okay, so it's a town that got completely decimated during WWI as one of the most bloody campaigns of the war (yes, i interpreted it as a 1, thankyouverymuch.), and a place renowned for it's Ales.

anything else?
Clintagram - 24.03.2010 at 00:28  
Great review. I have listened to a parts of this album a few times but I was totally unaware of the WWI theme. I must look into this. Not only is God Dethroned a good band but the subject matter of WWI is some of the most fascinating and intriguing in World History, in my opinion. Sometimes lyrical content can add a whole new dynamic to music. Good job.
Mikyz - 25.03.2010 at 00:16  
Thanks for this review you just gave me one of my first ear-jaculations of the year, and for that Can't believe I missed that album last year

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