Enthroned (Belgium) - Xes Haereticum
Much like genital herpes, Enthroned simply will not go away. It seems like these Belgian Black Metallers put a new album out every month. Well, before it sounds like I’m coming down on them too hard, I probably ought to tell you that this is by far their best album since 1997’s Toward the Skullthrone of Satan. It completely shatters the third-rate-version-of-Immortal mold they were casting for themselves by releasing a string of uninteresting, monotonous albums. Sabathan’s trollish Black Metal squeal has never sounded so venomous, this is the best production they’ve ever achieved, and standout tracks like “Crimson Legions” (complete with intro from Aleister Crowley), “Daemon’s Claw,” and “Night Stalker” may be the greatest songs they’ve ever written. There’s still a noteworthy amount of fast filler, but without question Xes Haereticum is a big step in the right direction for the band. Now, if they can just keep it up. We’ll probably have to wait until at least June to find out.
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