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An Excellent And Very Overlooked Album - 92%

PlagueRages, April 10th, 2007

I picked this album up a while ago when I was looking for BT’s “Those Once Loyal”, I found this instead and decided to give it a go and I’m very glad I did.

This album is a great example that Death Metal can work well at mid paced tempos and doesn’t have to be played at break neck speeds. Most of the songs on “The IVth Crusade” are mid paced, although there are slower and faster moment respectively. The album certainly has a Doom Metal feel to it that is most obvious on songs such as “As The World Burns”, “This Time its War” and the title track. The atmosphere throughout the album is one that portrays inevitability, despair and the brutality of warfare.

Despite there being little to no variety stylistically throughout the almost 1 hour long album (pretty long for Death Metal) it doesn’t get boring as Bolt Thrower understand the importance of good old fashioned hooks and catchiness. They do not go for all out brutality that so often results in the music becoming boring as hell.

The production of the album is very thick, particularly in the Guitar department, the Bass is certainly there but don’t expect to hear any thumping Bass lines. The Drums are mixed perfectly with the other instruments and establish the mid paced crushing rhythms that prevail throughout the album. Karl Willets’ Vocals are a very low and raspy Death Growl that remains surprisingly audible (I’m sure sometimes you can pick out his Brumie accent!).

Musically the band doesn’t try to be overly technical and most of the music is pretty simple. There are plenty of Guitar solos (something that’s always good in my opinion) and the riffs are usually pretty catchy and sometimes quite melodic (the best example of melody is on the title track). The Drum rhythms are largely devoid of blast beats but have lots of double bass, overall Andy Whale (who was never going to win any awards for technicality) manages to play some interesting rhythms through the album that suit the bands music perfectly.

The best songs on the album are probably the first four, “Where Next To Conquer” being my personal favourite song due to the very catchy riffs. Overall this is a great album and at the moment is the only BT album I own, I’m certainly going to buy some more albums from the bands back catalogue.