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July 25, 2024

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God Dethroned
Into The Lungs Of Hell (Metal Blade Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Dutch Death Metallers God Dethroned return with their sixth and most socially critical record to date. Aside from their usual eight song standard, another ten tracks accompany the new crop, including a smashing reworking of their originally released 1992 name sake, and Possessed's "Satan's Curse." Both blow open the flood gates for a rush of live blasphemy for another six tracks highlighted by "The Grand Grimoire" from their classic original Metal Blade entry and "Under A Silver Moon," a majestral movement from the same six year old record. Since their Metal Blade debut, God Dethroned, in spite of the usual membership mishaps and occasional view from above, has been among the more "listenable" of Death groups, embedding finely tuned melodies and harmonic leads beneath sharp rhythmic deliveries that emit a pure chill from speakers to skin. We're moving another step beyond from the, No, not another atheistic crawl through the pit of darkness for drone together sound alikes of Death chants and chemically imbalanced tales from the purgatorial pulpit? Okay, then maybe you DO know God Dethroned, and yes, a major part of their identity arrives from soul sucking, bone collecting, skin crawling, kill your god you blind eyed fucking lamb? Through it all we're led by the eyelash through another fiery abyss, into and out of said lungs, leaping landmines, peering past and peaking behind us, reveling in our own and rebelling against their beliefs and standing statue still in awe of another violence provoking, crafty display of power and class. Not their best, but considering some two years between records and on the merits of their last couple, "Lungs," bold and brash though it may be, suffers some in song standard and mix. On the plus side, the opening title track and top tier follow up, "The Warcult" make for a painful and proficient team with the former better placed near the end with it's twisted delivery that's plainly evident when the flames rise suddenly after the opening salvo. "The Tombstone" stands out as another of GD's finer hours here, blending classic Death, and discordant Thrash in a hastened glimpse at the ugliness of the hereafter. "Gods Of Terror," think hard, combines the usual suspects, as in God and government, and combines the annihilative principles with the painfully terse in an all out final hour barrage of skins, riffs, and screams delivered with a skin-peeling efficiency that leaves in sudden silence. The overall production is consistent but tough to get used to and lacking compared to recent records. The drums, delivered admirably, suffer the most, often buried in the background, lacking the effectual punch if not dexterity that are the norm. Overall, the record wins for its two-disc add on swagger of live cuts, bonus, and vid clips, but staggers clumsily enough in studio at times to suggest Sattler and co. could stand a little more cohesion and bottom end clarity.
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