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Slechtvalk - A Forlorn Throne - 80%

ThrashManiacAYD, September 18th, 2010

My viewing quota has fallen off a cliff in recent weeks, an occurrence for which I humbly apologise, however it is with Slechtvalk and their fourth album "A Forlorn Throne", which came out in July on Whirlwind Records don't you know, that I aim to begin rectifying things. No I haven't heard of them before despite the accompanying promo information talking of past European jollies with the likes of Eluveitie, MÃ¥negarm and Skyforger, but on the basis of this strong melodically inclined black metal album I'm sure changes will soon be on the horizon for these Dutchmen.

After a few listens to this 62-minute album I have noted numerous musical resemblances from Marduk to Heidevolk, Ensiferum, Keep of Kalessin, God Dethroned, Falkenbach and Amon Amarth. Quite a party that you must agree. "Forsaken" is the album's standout track, built upon a devastating opening riff that recalls prime-time Marduk in it's intensity before switching to Amon Amarth style 'rolling' riffs as I like to call them to pretty much guarantee crippled necks at the conclusion of this one live. "Allegiance" is no less powerful; my hastily written notes for this song which start with "one fucking brilliant riff follows another" basically tell you all you need to know about this little ditty.

The vocals of Shamgar, which for the most part are a fairly typical blackened howl work excellently in the later stages with the cleaner, more epic cadence of Ohtar ("Towards the Dawn" being a prime example). Rather like past reviews of the latest Goatwhore and Destruktor albums, Slechtvalk have not provided anything brand new here but it is in the execution and conviction of the recordings that turn "A Forlorn Throne" into the success it is.

To reach this running time of 62-minutes a good number of the songs top 6 minutes where in honesty some trimming could have been beneficial, but all in all the construction of the songs is good enough to carry the thrashing blackened death metal through successfully. Given the success some of the aforementioned bands have gleaned with their own particular styles Slechtvalk should see their profile rise with this release, as frankly it is a distillation of all that is good and great about extreme metal.

Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net