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God Dethroned is a band that most metalheads are familiar with. I heard their album Bloody Blasphemy a few years back when I was in middle school and I was astounded at their sound. I had only heard a few bands in the death metal world, but God Dethroned mixed both the death metal sound and the black metal sound, so it opened my perspective to other bands, such as Morbid Angel and Atheist. I bought Bloody Blasphemy because of that (though on Itunes). I remember that God Dethroned brought me a wider appreciation of metal because of that.
Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is the newest release to the God Dethroned library. This album is a World War 2 concept album, and I think that it was pretty good. The concept itself has been done to shit, but it's still cool to hear another album on World War 2. It was unique in the fact that there was clean vocals. I only heard clean vocals on one track (the self titled song - Under the Sign of the Iron Cross), but it was still interesting. I thought it was really a great piece of work and it shows that God Dethroned is not running out of ideas.
As always, Henri Sattler did phenomenal on vocals, but it was still nothing like the first few albums. Not everybody can do great every release, but it wasn't that bad. I especially liked that he has enough vocal power and comfortability with his vocals that he could sing without vocal distortion. It was great. I think that this album, though not his best, still had great aspects to it.
The guitar work was a bit sub-par, however. Usually, God Dethroned plays some good stuff and the songs usually have some great solo work in them. This album was highly mediocre and it was a bit disappointing in that aspect. I guess I was hoping for something that would shatter In the Lair of the White Worm, but what we got was a downstep from anything they've ever played. As for the other string instrument (bass), we never really heard it. It's not like their bassist is Les Claypool, but I'd still like to hear some badass riffs from him. It's really just nitpicking, but I guess I was just hoping for some great shit.
The drums were interesting, but good. I really liked some of the fills that was on the album, and even still, I liked a lot of the actual verses and choruses. It was a really good album, rythmically, but it wasn't the best. I will, once again, refer back to Bloody Blasphemy. I guess it's just my initial listen talking, but I still think that this album was flawless for God Dethroned. The drums were great, but unlike on Bloody Blasphemy, this album was really just cut and paste overall, but it wasn't bad.
Under the Sign of the Iron Cross was really good, but it was a bit disappointing for a true fan. I guess this was kind of like the Gwar album (Bloody Pit of Horror), in the fact that I'll like it, but it will become one of the albums I don't listen to a lot.
Highlights: Storm of Steel, The Killing Is Faceless, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross.