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The Formula is Stretched to thin - 72%

Symphony_Of_Terror, August 20th, 2004

Norwegian black metal has seem to have lost is monopoly/stranglehold on black metal, the black metal scene spreading to all parts of the world from Florida with Kult Ov Azazel to all the underground Malaysian black metal bands. Carpathian Forest are a throw back to the days of Immortal and Emperor, borrowing a member from the latter. On Defending the Throne of Evil, the band sings of all the expected, darkness, evil, anit-christianity..Etc. Precidents set by the black metal greats. Sounds like a typical average formula for a good Norwegian black metal band, for most part they are, but on this album Carpathian Forest does a few things that make them stand out from the slew of other bands out there today using this formula, wherever the bands are from.

The aspect of Defending the Throne of Evil that is my favorite is the simplistic yet powerfully delivered lyrics. From start to finish with few exceptions, Nattefrost and company deliver straight-forward lyrics of hate, death and destruction towards Christians and mankind in general. When the band is not "Hitting, Whipping, Kicking/ The Corpse of Christ!!! they are putting "...you to sleep/ like a sick animal", CF is doing all of this while wishing you to be dead, "Carpathian Forest want you DEAD, DEAD". Lyrics like these dominate the album. The band is telling you your nothing, they are telling Christians they are nothing. These simplistic and short lyrics which are delivered and resolved fast are the main appeal of this album. Nattefrost has a sick mind with a powerful voice to deliver these raw messages of hatred. The way in which he delivers them only strengthens the messages in the lyrics. Nattefrost gives his singing voice a raw gargling that can whip out these hate shrilled lyrics fast or drag them out for a lasting screech of anger or disgust. Whether Nattefrost puts them right out short, fast, and hate filled like "Carpathian Forest want you DEAD" or longer lasting anger cries that last a few lines of lyrics, they hold power in hatred and anger towards those they are against. Defending the Throne of Evil is the album to get for your hate filled lyrics that are not mindless.

If Defending the Throne of Evil weren't so stretched it would be a great album. CF uses a powerful but tired formula for most every song on this album with the exception of The Old House On The Hill and Cold Murderous Music, which just stray from the consistency of the album and do nothing to contribute. The album starts out strong with Its Darker Than You Think which sets a precedent for the album to follow as well as a formula for the album to use. The next song Skejnd Hans Lik follows the formula very closely; straight forward sick, heavy, angry and polished Black Metal, as do the majority of the remaining songs on the album. This works for a lot of bands…the best example is Amon Amarth. Amon Amarth sets a formula for each album, all the songs follow this formula, but what makes each song good is that they all do something a bit different and interesting with the formula, instead of spewing out the same song over and over with slight variations and overused elements and themes. CF does the latter. They set the formula for their music, and use it to death without trying to do something greater with it than the precedent set by the first song. It Darker Than You Think takes the CF formula and arranges the song in a unique way by throwing in a nice raw riff that acts as an undertone after the delivery of some powerful lyrics. If the rest of the songs on Defending The Throne would use the formula and throw something a little unique into each song to give it a individuality of its own, this album would be quite amazing. Aside from Spill The Blood Of The Lamb and Its Darker Than You Think, this album has no memorable moments in any of its songs, they are mildly enjoyed while listening to them, then soon forgotten. Thus this album is like too little butter stretched over a piece of toast, unsatisfying and leaving you wanting more.

An album has to really impress me to get a score of above a 9, and an album has to have memorable moments on most its songs but fall short of greatness to get an 8. Defending the Throne of Evil has a few memorable moments in it, but lacks anything that impresses me that I haven't heard elsewhere before. If CF would put something memorable, unique, or interesting into each of these songs, it would be easily a great album, a definite 9 out of 10. Yet CF do not do this, and the album turns into a decent listen with a few high points. Check out CF's other efforts before you give this one a try. The only thing that makes me want to come back to this album is its powerful delivered lyrics, like described earlier. Defending the Throne has its strong lyrics and powerful vocals….but its weak and stretched formula tear the album apart between good moments, and ones that just roll by ignored. For its redeeming moments give it a listen to, and for its redeeming moments its gets its "higher score".