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Dustborn - Dethroned - 90%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 15th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, MetalGate

Another band from the MetalGate roster are Dustborn. Having been formed in 2017 they have released a single and an EP before they presented their debut full length titled “Dethroned”. Three of the members are also active in Desire for Sorrow, another band I would recommend to check out. Both bands might be of interest for a pretty similar audience, as they share not only musicians but also a feeling for fierce yet melodic metal music. That being while Desire for Sorrow mainly stay within the boundaries of melodic/symphonic black metal Dustborn have a distinct death metal tone to them.

The trademark chords are complemented by superb drum work, well considered patterns that enhance the outstanding guitar work and a predominant rasping growl of a delivery that ascends to a blackened gurgling scream, both deliver with clarity the lyrical content, allowing you to follow the story line. While there are a lot of blast-beat sections and a good use of the cymbals the music never sounds too chaotic or disharmonic.

Dustborn did not just record an extreme metal album with a lot of technical prowess and put a few orchestral samples on top. While the fast and furious tremolo lines are in full force and often accompanied by heavy hitting blast-beats it feels as if the symphonic details have really been implemented as important factor of each song. Sometimes those elements are used more subtly creating an eerie and melancholic atmosphere in the background while in other sections they are present in a more prominent manner, dominating whole passages.

The crunching rhythm chords are accompanied by fantastic lead guitars that always feel present over the whole running time. Often they work in the background to lift the atmospheric level of the whole affair or offer short interludes that are used to connect different parts of one song. Of course there are also some extended soloing sections, but while those are played on an impressive level they have been perfectly embedded into the tracks. The vocals are spot on, switching between blackish barking and traditional deep growling.

The production is great and pretty much flawless. The sound has enough punch without being too sterile, and the mix is well-balanced with no details being buried. Some might argue that the sound is a bit too modern for an extreme metal record, but I think this kind of music needs such a production. Another highlight for sure is the cover artwork highlighting the moody and mystical overall feeling of the record. “Dethroned” for sure is an album that should be checked out by any fan of the genre.