A cold slab of meaty black metal always goes down a treat when served up properly – as opposed to the lukewarm morsel of barely audible, recorded in a tin can, one-man and his Casio dirge we often find at the bottom of the promo bin – and THRON‘s third album, Pilgrim, fortunately fits very much in the first category!
Abrasive, angular and astutely aggressive, these German’s craft their art carefully; building and building their bouts of bitter brutality into a fervour of magisterial proportions. This description may lend itself to a symphonic black metal feel but THRON avoid the temptation to bombard us with a cacophony of orchestral noise and instead subtly employ keyboards to great effect.
Relying more on the use of layered, highly melodic tremolo riffs positions THRON more in the realm of Dissection (and there is more than just a little of Jon Nödtveidt’s influence toiling away in the dark corners of THRON’s desolate landscapes) and fans of the likes of the aforementioned Dissection alongside the more diverse nature of fellow countrymen The Spirit, Swedish legends Necrophobic and even Tribulation will find much to appreciate here.
While the ambient nature of “Epitome” proves to be a welcome surprise, it’s the more direct approach found on the likes of “The Prophet” which provide the more palpable thrills.
That being said, when THRON fully spread their scabbed wings such as on Pilgrim‘s centrepiece “The Reverence” they soar to new heights, administering the coldest lesson in abject hatred in the process.
Following 2018’s impressive sophomore release Abysmal (thoroughly recommended if not heard already) was always going to be a challenge but THRON emerge from the Black Forest triumphant.
An album full of revelatory twists and turns, with Pilgrim, THRON have established themselves as one of the most promising acts in not only the German black metal scene but should also be considered as a burgeoning global force! 8/10