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FIRE THRONE - DAY OF DARKNESS...AND BLACKNESS (*NEW-CD, 2008, Nokternal Hemizphear) elite harsh Christian Black Metal

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 FIRE THRONE - DAY OF DARKNESS...AND BLACKNESS (*NEW-CD, 2008, Nokternal Hemizphear) elite harsh Christian Black Metal


1 Nadchodzi Lew 2:29
2 Upadl Wieki Babilon 2:46
3 From Rot To Suffer 2:13
4 The Rising Sun Will Be Darkened 2:44
5 Immortal Eternal Triumphator 3:05
6 The Day Of Coming Destruction And Darkness 1:52
7 Holocaustfirestorm 3:18
8 Going To War 2:31
9 Sorrow In My Heart 1:30
2004 Demo Tracks
10 Psalm 88 5:13
11 Zbawiciel 1:51
12 Hail Jesus, Holy Unblack Metal 2:49
13 Krew Chrvstusa 2:10
14 Ojcze Nasz 3:26
15 Nadchodzi Lew 4:25
16 Duch Panski 5:50
17 Upadl Wieki Babilon 3:48

Fire Throne have been often dismissed as Darkthrone clones (as if half of the black metal scene out there isn't!), repetitive, dull, etc. But for me, they have become one of my absolute favorite unblack acts - here I'll tell you why.

This particular release is packed with every track the band has on tape so far, re-packaged with loving care in a glossy digipak, all new artwork, and the like. It's an impressive package to say the least. Included here is the band's album "Day of Darkness...and Blackness", as well as several demo tracks - more on those later.

"Day of Darkness..." is raw, brutal black metal played without mercy - sounds of war permeate the background over bitterly cold aural assaults. Fire Throne may not vary their music too much, but neither did Darkthrone, neither does Cannibal Corpse, neither does Slayer. People listen to this kind of thing because they know exactly what they're getting.

Keyboard count = zero. First track, "Nadchozi Lew" introduces the album with a sort of punkish black thrash, before the album descends into utter madness. The songs on here sound like roaring ice winds flaying the body. We're talking blastbeats galore, continual, not clumsy like middle-period Marduk, but rather machine-gun like. Unblasphemer must have almost fallen out off his stool after recording this stuff.

Guitars are pure and thin streams of total rage - bass is almost unaccounted for. Vocally, Fire lets loose with either a vicious rasp or a strange spectral sort of howling that sinks so much into the musical assault that it literally begins to sound like those glacial winds I was talking about. There is no compromise on here in the least - the band only slows it down really on "Holocaustfirestorm", before raking the listener over the frost and blood for the last two tracks.

The highlight of the album tracks themselves for me is "Sorrow in My Heart", a ridiculously aggressive assault that begins with monk-like chanting over some of the fastest blasting I've ever heard. It's an insane sound, to be sure.

Now to the demo tracks. I've read complaints about these as being too rough in sound to be worth anything really, but for me, they are some of the best tracks on the cd, and easily the most ferocious. Whereas the album tracks are like icy blasts of war-laden black metal hell, the demo tracks are like wrestling with a rabid lion hand-to-hand. The first four are the ones that are indeed a bit too rough in sound production-wise, I'll give critics that. But the last four (tracks 14 - 17) are unreal. Fire vocal's are no longer distant or reptilian, but roars and shrieks - check out the demo version of "Nadchozi Lew" for some of the most frightening black metal vocals you'll ever hear. At times, tracks like the demo version of "Upadl Wieki Babilon" sound akin to Beherit's "Oath of Black Blood" material - this is ugly, raw, brutal stuff.

All in all, it's a fantastic disc, and it seems to be proving to be quite the influence on a lot of up and coming unblack acts right now. People can whine all they like about the band pictures looking like Darkthrone copies (and Sargeist's "Satanic Black Devotion" wasn't?), the logo being a rip-off of Darkthrone's (and countless other spattered black metal band logos aren't?), and the sound being a rip-off of Darkthrone too; Fire Throne sound nothing like Darkthrone in the least. I've listened to Darkthrone for years, and these guys have nothing in common with the grim sounds of "Under a Funeral Moon, the droning hypnotism of "Transilvanian Hunger", nor the drunken grooves of "Panzerfaust". If anything, they have more in common with 90's Swedish black metal in terms of speed, but the icy sound is all their own.

I can't recommend this one highly enough - sure it has its faults like most albums (some of the tracks can get fairly repetitive in structure and drumming), but for this kind of black metal, you can count me in.