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A Journey Through The Nine Circles Of Hell - 98%

VinterNatt1785, November 28th, 2011

Ah, the strife I went through to actually get my hands on a copy of this album when I first got into black metal at the beginning of this decade. Ordering it and not coming through, then on back order and again ordering it and finally coming through to my dealer who accidentally sold my copy to another customer, then to finally arriving again and it did not end in vain the third time. Carpathian Forest's "Defending The Throne Of Evil" is truly an evil, dark, and immensely entertaining release and is probably their best to date. All of their previous work has finally led up to this point, their high point, with two Nattefrost solo albums on the side to boot (which really have nothing to do with Carpathian Forest at all). The cover art appears to be four goat heads at each corner of the CF logo with a forest in the background, a mausoleum on the tray with the words "Spill The Blood" and "Carpathian Forest Wants You Dead!!" on the side tray, and the Carpathian Forest ten commandments in the center of the booklet to let you know who's in charge here. Twelve songs clocking in at fifty one minutes and not one stale track, along with Terje Refsnes' killer clear production which works great here and makes "Defending The Throne Of Evil" an exception among third wave modern black metal releases.

"It's Darker Than You Think" starts off with a creepy symphonic introduction with the violin strings crying tears of blood to an ambush of TNBM blasting you straight out of your skin. "Skjend Hans Lik" contains badass riff after badass riff to only stop in the middle to blow you off your chair again while "The Well Of All Human Tears", my second favorite song here, is an absolute headbanging masterpiece of sorrow and torture that draws you in with its layers of ultimate brutality. "Put To Sleep Like A Sick Animal" is a straight forward hellish tune with no compromise and a violent onslaught of paranormal musicianship. "Hymne Til Doden" is dedicated to the one who carries a sickle and is a slaughterhouse symphony of vile hate while "One With The Earth" is my favorite song on "Defending The Throne Of Evil" and is by far the shortest, most straight to the point track ever created by Carpathian Forest besides "Carpathian Forest" on "Through Chasm, Caves and Titan Woods" and "Morbid Fascination Of Death". You must hear this for yourself to fully encompass and enjoy the sheer genius of it.

The other songs on here are good as well and not boring in the least. The one song I have not spoken of but I will mention is "Cold Murderous Music", a truly grimy, filthy, and morbid piece. Motorsen again appears with his tenor saxophone, destroying all doubters by creating a strangely cold trip-hop track along with Nattefrost's vocals beckoning the listener to commit suicide in several different uniquely fun ways. The guitars, bass, and drums on "Defending The Throne Of Evil" are the best yet out of the whole Carpathian Forest discography. Nattefrost's vocals are at their most misanthropic and vicious while the synth and keyboards on here are fresh, intriguing, always surprising, and never leaves you hanging.

"Defending The Throne Of Evil" is my favorite Carpathian Forest release next to "Through Chasm, Caves And Titan Woods", though I cannot compare the two as both are very, very different from each other. The one thing I will say is "Defending The Throne..." will leave your neck aching more. Even to you metalheads who don't headbang, you cannot but help it here whilst "Through Chasm..." will have you contemplating whether your life is worth living in all its claustrophobic glory. If you enjoy "The Divine Comedy" and want more visuals to go with Dante and Virgil's exploration, then you will love this album. If you love hating human existence, wish to eradicate Judeo Christianity, and are a bitter person, then this is your ticket to Hell, and if you're like me and need to own every single album in a band's discography, then you probably own this already and I have to say no more. An excellent, enjoyable, and vibrant listen to accompany your journey to the underworld.