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A slight drop in quality, but still a goodie - 75%

Lane, April 8th, 2012

Even though God Dethroned's line-up has changed considerably, as long-standing members guitarist Jens and bassist Beef left, the band led by Henri Sattler (vocals and guitar) is still going strong. Sixth studio album 'The Lair of the White Worm' is tightly and technically very well performed, as new guitarist Isaac Delahaye (ex-Edgecrusher, ex-Forcible etc.) and bassist Henk Zinger fit in perfectly. After hearing this album I'm ready to lift drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek as one of the best drumers I've ever heard.

God Dethroned (GD from now on) can't be put into any metal music genre, except extreme metal. The band have carved their own niche next to the likes of Hypocrisy, Destruction and The Crown. GD have weaved death metal and thrash metal seamlessly together for some time now. While this sounds modern, there's old school stuff nicely included. Brutality is accompanied by fantastic melodies, which should charm any listener immediately. 'Nihilism' pounds a listener into a bloody pulp before a melody passage shoots the song into skies. Probably the best song from the band, ever. 'Sigma Enigma' slows the tempo and grooves like hell. 'Rusty Nails' is a beautiful slow song telling a brutal tale of Jesus on his way to Golgotha. Then comes a real drop in quality, as 'Loyal to the Crown...' has no melodies and the riffs are boring. First five songs are so good, that this drop really hurts. 'The Grey Race' is quite Hypocrisy-esque song and lifts the album back from the ground. 'Salt in Your Wounds' is an okay closer, and lyrics "let's pour some salt in your wounds" play in one's head long after the albums ends. The album doesn't work from start to finish, and from 6th track on it's a mixed bag. Lyrics, by the way, deal with many different subjects; war, gore, history etc.

The Henrik Larsson production at Berno Studio is truly powerful, but also somewhat artificial. Some drum sounds aren't very natural, but some others are. A mixed bag, too, but I can live with it and actually worse drum sounds fit in the whole picture. The kick drums are high in the mix, making a pulverizing effect. The guitars and the bass are fantastic and all their nuances are well audible. The vocals are nothing but brutal throaty growl (not a million miles away from Carcass' Jeff Walker), and many a time multitracked, but they are a trademark and rule. The cover artwork is way too computer-ish, and remembering some older paintings the band have used makes it all even worse. DVD is, once again, a nice extra bit, but nothing special. Quite boring interviews are coupled with cool playing scenes. Watching Mr. van Weesenbeek blasting out with his drum kit dropped my jaw on the floor. One evil motherfucker with drums...

My favourite GD album is 'Bloody Blasphemy' (1998), probably because it was my first touch with the band. The subsequent albums have been more or less unbalanced, but the band's style is such an exciting mixture that the music wins me over easily. Every metal head should give this band a listen or two.

(orignially written for in 2004)

Scandinavian DM aggression with heavy metal leads - 75%

CommandForBlood, August 28th, 2007

There is more than one type of blood flowing through the veins of God Dethroned, but adherents to Scandinavian Melodic And Actual Death Metal should be especially pleased with the variety, if not the absence of bloodgushing, kinetic brutality. Aligned with the Dutchmens' former albums, excepting thirty seconds of black metal riffing during Nihilism, the quality is in the intrinsic variations of midtempo death metal compositions with nods to heavy metal ancestry.

The formulaic song structures are comparable to Hypocrisy's The Fourth Dimension for the large part, the speed to Abducted, and the crisp production to that of the selftitled Hypocrisy album. However, placing The Lair of the White Worm on the same level of achievement as any of those releases would be like crowning Chimera the next De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The drowsiness of childlike Sigma Enigma (sic!) and the inappropriate, pointless breaks in the middle of the title track are good examples of why it hasn't happened this time - either.

And you can always count on Sattler to rasp forth simple lyrics with a political message or historical theme as they would be delivered by a teenager, largely to the detriment of the nerve in the music. Simplicity is a gambit and it fails most of the time on this album. Sigma Enigma, title and contents alike, reeks of excessive naivete and detachment from the feel of the equally pointless music, and is in stark contrast with the words to Rusty Nails supporting the depressive hardship portrayed by the comparatively slow rhythm and catchy, emotive leads.

Rusty Nails is a standout track in the context of this album with its heavy metal lead-in to its main riff, and is on the whole a worthwhile, lowerpitch reminiscence of Fade to Black as well as earlier God Dethroned songs Soul Capture 1562 and Into a Dark Millenium. Nihilism is the other black eye in your worthless subhuman face. Significantly lousy is the closing track, Salt in Your Wounds, which is God Dethroned reenacting the uneventful song structure and lowbrow lyrics of The Tombstone. Sigma Enigma should have been a Stratovarious bonus track, it sucks so much.

The leads, threaded throughout the album, are one of two elements which seperate this publication from the artless "Into the Lungs of Hell" released the year before. The other element being you won't bore yourself to sleep from listening to the songstructures, which is an advantage at, say, live concerts!

The Lair of the White Worm haplessly avoids greatness and lacks any true headbanging moments, but it is written with sufficient verve and pattern sensibility to keep me occasionally interested in playing it.

Nearly Pure (and Perfect) Melodic Death Metal - 93%

Deliciously_Evil, July 18th, 2007

Note: Read the disclaimer in my profile before judging the quality of my review.

“The Lair of the White Worm” was where God Dethroned pretty much became a pure melodic death metal act. Certainly, earlier in their career, the band played blackened death metal. Over the years, however (and most noticeably with “Into the Lungs of Hell”), God Dethroned began implementing groove and melodic elements into their music. With “The Lair of the White Worm,” it can officially be said that the band's style has changed.

With this album being the first with guitarist Isaac Delahaye, maybe it’s no surprise that God Dethroned were able to make the switch into this new (and, in the case of God Dethroned, better) genre. It just so happens that the guitar work is one of the many highlights of this great album. A lot of the songs are filled with fantastic solos and leads that are just so downright fun to listen to; in fact, they may even make you want to pull out your air guitar. Of course, I did mention before that this is the album where God Dethroned almost became pure melodic death metal, but not quite (that happened with the release of their next album, “The Toxic Touch”). Brutal black/death/thrash-inspired riffs are plentiful here on “The Lair of the White Worm” as well. The guitar work from both Isaac Delahaye and Henri Sattler is phenomenal.

The rest of the instruments are played excellently (bass by Henke Zinger and drums by Arien Van Weesenbeek), but I think the next worthwhile part of this band that makes them one of the best out there is vocalist/guitarist Henri Sattler. Rightfully nicknamed “The Serpent King,” Sattler’s snake-like vocals are (in my opinion) some of the greatest in extreme metal, all the while being 100% comprehensible.

Add in top-notch production, and subtract the fairly shitty cover art, “The Lair of the White Worm” equals one of the best melodic death metal albums released in 2004; a near-perfect blend of brutal and melodic death metal with elements of black and thrash. If you are a fan of this type of metal, and/or if you’re a fan of Amon Amarth (because the similarities are there), you must check out this album and this band. It's a shame that God Dethroned isn't very well-known, because they really should be.

Standout Tracks: "Nihilism," "Sigma Enigma," "The Lair of the White Worm," "Rusty Nails," and "Salt in Your Wounds." (On track 1, listen from 3:29 to the end of the song for one of the coolest parts of the album.)

My score: 42 out of 45 stars = 93%

Something has changed in the God Dethroned camp - 78%

krozza, March 11th, 2005

Something has changed in the God Dethroned camp. It’s not the first time I’ve detected it, as there was a hint of a shift in thinking on 2003’s ‘Into the Lungs of Hell’ disc, yet with ‘The Lair..’ the movement of GD from a full on Dutch band playing American Slayer-esque death/thrash to something akin to a Scandinavian style Amon Amarth is now unmistakable. They sound more Swedish than ever.

GD have never pretended to be original in style, and this is far from it, but in terms of musical progression ‘The Liar…’ is probably their best work. The most striking aspect about ‘The Lair..’ is the bands willingness to fully embrace the ‘mid-tempo’ groove element that was aired on ‘Into the Lungs..’ And whilst there is ample enough blasting/speed work on this disc to satisfy the regular death rivet head, it is the places where GD temper the fury that works so much better for them. Tracks like ‘Rusty Nails’ and ‘Last Zip of Spit’ are built around an Amon Amarth/Bolt Thrower like groove that works well when lined up against the speed driven title track and the tasty ‘Salt in your Wounds and the fiery opener ‘Nihilism’.

More importantly, the addition of new guitarist Isaac Delahaye has allowed the bands melodic ideas to be fully realized. His melodic lead work and general riff phrasing has had a dramatic Impact on the material presented here. He brings a real Arch Enemy meets almost power metal (gulp!) like melodic touch to the album. Astonishingly, Delahaye has been able to achieve this despite not even being a member of GD some two weeks prior to recording.

Having been dealing out the death for near on a decade, I’m sure the band would agree that they’re probably coming into their own as a band. ‘The Lair..’ looks and sounds like their most mature effort yet. Even the production (which is another killer Berno Studio/Henrik Larsson affair) sounds exquisitely bright, devoid of all previous rough and evil edges. In this regard, perhaps, GD doesn’t sound as vicious as they once were, which may disappoint some older underground fans.

‘The Lair..’ is GD’s most accessible album to date. The more melodic tones and tempered speed have allowed this to be achieved. The addition of Isaac Delahaye is a major coup for the band. However, In comparison to the brutal death/thrash metal act they once were, this is probably a tad safe. On the upside, for me at least this is their best work - this album is easily GD’s most thought out and thoroughly intelligent album. And whilst I note that in no way does ‘The Lair..’ bring anything new to the table in terms of musical ideas, they should be extremely pleased with what they have delivered here. Worth a second glance.

Krozza: written for and (english)