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Label: Putrid Cult/Solid Rock Pr. / Release date: 2nd February 2023
Recently I’ve had a pleasure to listen to many extreme metal release from our eastern neighbours from Poland. Here we have another one, this time a relatively young Polish black/death metal band Towards Hellfire, who has recently released their debut eight-tracker entitled Death Upon The Holy Throne. I must admit that I wasn’t familiar with the band prior to receiving this CD for review purposes. What I could read on in the booklet is that the formation of Towards Hellfire is made up of R. (vocals & guitar), P. (bass) and D. (drums). Not much info on this unholy trio, but it’s not necessary when we’re talking of this high-quality release, where the music speaks for itself.
Thus, this particular release, Death Upon The Holy Throne, as aforementioned contains eight tracks with a spin-time of almost 40 minutes. The record’s time runs quickly, and I felt as it was over faster than I expected. In other words, I felt very entertained and was not bored for a single moment.
The album opens with a track with a typical death/black title “Nocturnal Rites”. It starts off with some relentless blast beats, sharps riffs and harsh and cold black metal vocals. Already with the first tunes of this opening track, one felt introduced to the style and image of this band. Besides of the fact that the lyrics are printed in the booklet, a good thing is that despite of the harsh vocals, one can easily understand the lyrical content. The next one is “Hammer For Betrayal” which arrives bombastically and with some militaristic marching rhythm, consistent & sharp riffs, tremolo picking and shriek and growling vocals. “Obssessed by Hate” is a razor sharp sonic assault, starting of with some serious guitar shredding, before intense and hellish drumming and deep and harsh vocals takes over. A middle track “Follow the Path of Chaos” is probably the only mediocre track on this otherwise energetic and highly entertaining opus, mostly due to the unnecessary refrain and its overall repetitive nature. Yet, on this one, their handling of the instruments is superb and convincing.
A self-titled “Death Upon The Holy Throne” is the fifth track on the album and one of my personal highlights. This track has some nice guitar riffs, a relentless machine-gun drumming, and even some slower, mainly bass-laden parts. If asked what Towards Hellfire sounds like, I would play this track for you, as it is very representative of the band’s sound. Next comes “The Gospel Of The Violence”, being a pure black metal anthem with occasional melodic interludes and a melancholic touch. Another superb and stand-out track is the shortest song of the album, one called “Transfiguration.” This is a very compact and perfectly executed track, with again awesome drum parts, nice and edgy guitar riffs, some groovy parts, and a bit faster tempo than what we could hear on ex. “Death Upon The Holy Throne” song. The closing track is called “The Oath Of The Ancient’s Gods” where it has this 1990s touch over it, being pretty much old-school, raw and primitive in its build-up and execution. Still, a very nice way to wrap it all up and end this debut on a high note.
All tracks from are successfully balanced, and I was almost overwhelmed by the quality of their song-writing and production. The album’s artwork is outstanding and it gives the music an additional underground touch, where I think that the lyrics match the artwork.
Death Upon The Holy Throne is, despite of its harsh nature, a very listenable and understandable album, one that can be recommended as a mandatory listen esp. for fans of the extreme & brutal metal.
For additional info on this particular release go to https://towardshellfire.bandcamp.com/album/death-upon-the-holy-throne