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Dethroned, Conquered And Forgotten - 87%

torn, May 1st, 2005

Beginning with a deceptively tranquil (compared to the rest of the EP) guitar riff, it's only seconds before we are bombarded with insanely fast blast - beats (courtesy of session drummer Cryptic Winter) and raw, Darkthrone (circa Transylvanian Hunger) style chords progressions. The overall effect is simple yet immediately overpowering and mesmerising in a way that so many bands have attempted (mostly in vain).
When the vocals are inflicted upon us, they come in the form of violent, throat - shredding rasps, the likes of which could easily do serious damage to one's vocal chords. The only gripe here, and a tiny one at that, is that the vocals are just a little bit too low in the mix, and could have maybe done with a touch of reverb. However, this is hardly noticeable, especially once you get caught up in the music.
Unlike some other bands, Judas Iscariot (or rather Akhenaten, for this is still essentially a one - man band) does not fall into the common trap of relentless blasting. Opening song 'Descent To The Abyss', and following track 'Benevolent Whore, Dethroned For Eternity' tear away at your ears like a rusty chainsaw on overdrive, but things slow down considerably (without losing any of the intensity) by the third song. Just as the pace starts to pick up again, we are treated to a fantastic, guitar - only track, somewhat reminiscent of Burzum's 'The Crying Orc', only longer and more melancholy.
After this well placed break, the 'Blitzkrieg' version of 'Spill The Blood Of The Lambs' tears desperately through the speakers, and then it's all over. Showing admirable restraint on the part of Akhenaten, the EP does not drag on and on, but instead stops right in its tracks, leaving you with an urge to listen to the whole thing again. Evidently, there is considerable knowledge in this band regarding both song - structuring and overall album - structuring, which raises Judas Iscariot above many of their / his peers.