Thronehamner unites British and German musicians Kat Shevil Gillham (Uncofined/Winds of Genocide/Ex-BlessedRealm), Stuart West (Ex-Obelyskkh/Ex-The Walruz) and Tim Schmidt (Naked Star/Seamount). Usurper of the Oaken Throne is the debut full-length born of this union of notable extreme music perpetrators, rending nearly eigthy minutes of purely epic metal.
The album will be released on May 3rd 2019 via Church Within Records.
Holy hell, there aren’t many releases quite like this. 6 tracks long, coming in at 78 minutes. Each song here is a journey through the heaviest of doom, the coldest of metal and the most epic of soundscapes. This isn’t an album you just listen too, it’s an experience that must be lived.
The mind-crushing heaviness of Behind the Wall of Frost, a track that is over 17 minutes long is what greets us. The low-heaviness pushes down so much it will crack bones but just when the pressure seems to get to much, Thronehammer relieve it with a touch of melody before turning the screws tightly again. The word epic gets thrown around a lot but here it absolutely applies.
Conquered and Erased almost seems short by comparison being only 11 odd minutes long but it certainly isn’t lacking in the same meaty doom sound heard so far. The vocals are incredibly powerful here, commanding and dominating.
It’s back to hugeness though as Warhorn’s sound gets thicker and harder to swallow. At 19 minutes this is Thronehammer really pushing the limits of what they are capable off and what listeners can put up with. It’s a big ask as the doominess drones on and on but it’s still capable of snapping a person out of any malaise with rumbling drops into soft melody. Very welcome these are as it re-energises the mind for the returning darkness covered heaviness.
Amazingly, somehow it gets even more bleak and heavy. Something the very short (5 minutes) Svarte Skyer and the following Thronehammer (9 minutes) brings to life. The guitars and drums are simply as heavy as a bucket of wet cement dropping on your head. Amazing and much more palatable.
Finally we have the title tracks super-fuzzed out riffs and low-droning heaviness to see out the album. One more 15+ minute hurdle to overcome. As doomy as anything you’ll have heard not just on this album but all year so far. Thronehammer push the listener to the limits, exemplified by the way in which this track continues to hammer away with repetition for almost 7 minutes. When it does change format, it removes the deeper echo pushing a more sinister sound before coming back with force.
Thronehammer – Usurper of the Oaken Throne Full Track Listing:
1. Behind the Wall of Frost
2. Conquered and Erased
4. Svarte Skyer
6. Usurper of the Oaken Throne
Head over to Thronehammer’s Facebook Page to find out more!
Thronehammer - Usurper of the Oaken Throne (Church Within Records)
The Final Score - 7.5/10