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they play fast - 70%

Noktorn, January 2nd, 2011

Enthroned has never been a band hailed for their originality or creativity in face of a black metal scene content to repeat the styles of old- hell, I bet they think that's just fine. Nor are they heralded for their technical prowess, unusual songwriting standards, or even lyricism. No, Enthroned is about as straightforward as black metal can possibly get, and 'Carnage In Worlds Beyond' is straightforward even for them. What you get here: black metal cut fully from the Dark Funeral or Marduk mold, perhaps with just a tinge more melody, but otherwise unchanged. So I guess in the end it all comes down to execution.

As for that: yeah, it's pretty good. Enthroned plays black metal for those who think that 'Diabolis Interium' was too experimental and have sought to rectify the lack of blasting, tremolo riffs, and ranting screeches in black metal single-handedly. Basically every song on this album (and well every Enthroned song ever) can be summed up with the following: blast, shriek, fast riff, double bass passage, slightly slower riff, vary these elements until you get to about five minutes and then move on to the next track. The riffs are quality: demonic and speedy in (yet again) the Dark Funeral vein, and the vocals are appropriately goblinlike if a bit weak for my taste. The drumming is an impressive display of speed and stamina, handily keeping up with the string section though not doing anything to accentuate the music. As I said, straightforward music for straightforward people.

I couldn't really mention peaks or valleys in this album as Enthroned's songwriting process is so industrialized at this point that such phrases hardly have meaning to them- they just grind through track after track of traditional, Satanic black metal with little concern for modern trends or ideals in the genre. Frankly, I can't damn or praise them for such an ethos; the band does what they do pretty well if unremarkably and nothing is going to change that. Being perhaps the most stalwart band in the Belgian black metal scene, I give them credit for hammering out album after album over the course of their now 18 year career, and I can't even recommend they change the formula up; it's been working well so far, so why bother?

If you like your black metal fast, screechy, and traditional, you might as well pick this (or any other Enthroned album) up at your earliest convenience. It will absolutely not teach you anything or take you to musical places you haven't been before, but it's a pretty good rendition of those places by guys who clearly have an indordinate love for the style. In the end, I suppose that's all I can really ask for.