THRONE OV BLOOD: Corrupted By Darkness
Release year: 2017
Label: American Line Productions
Whenever I see a band use “ov” instead of “of”, I don’t start thinking about how much serious occult understanding and esoteric knowledge there must be behind it. No, my first thought is that it’s one of the sillier clichés in black metal; often done because it’s one of the things to do, because others have done it. Kind of like the illegible logos, except the logos are neat.
Now, I’m not saying Throne Ov Blood, who hail from Laredo, Texas, are one of those who use ov for the sake of using ov. I don’t know the guys, for all I know they really might be serious occultists. But then, they do have a song called Goat Nation 666, which quite honestly does make me a bit sceptical.
Oh yeah, and using v instead of u? That’s another strike for Throne Ov Blood.
Corrupted By Darkness, their second full-length, offers 35 minutes of second wave black metal in a rather rudimentary and basic form. Throne Ov Blood have condensed it into its most common, most generic elements and build their sound from that. Less surprisingly, the results are generic and unoriginal: lots of high-speed blasting, buzzsawing and shredding guitars, vicious croaked vocals that sound like a goblin with a sore throat, and a very bass-thin sound. The band don’t sound too much like any one specific second wave artist, but there’s nary a moment on the album that doesn’t feel at least remotely familiar. Pastiche or homage, you decide.
Sadly, whilst the band do a quite adept job in recreating the most generic elements of the era, Corrupted By Darkness never rises to become particularly engrossing or captivating. It’s one of those albums that sounds good for the first few songs on the first listen, but the more you dig into it, the less you come away with. I guess it’s the familiarity of it all. When most everything on Corrupted By Darkness sounds like you’ve heard it before, it’s hard to become very excited even if Throne Ov Blood don’t do their pastiche badly. It’s just done too much by the book.
Ultimately, after half a dozen or so listens, Corrupted By Darkness is an album I’d like to like more than I actually do. I mean, there aren’t any major blunders on the album (although some of the solos stand out like a sore thumb) and both the sound and playing sound decent, so it’d be great to be able to say I like it. But Corrupted By Darkness leaves me thoroughly cold. Pastiche in itself I don’t mind – see my review of Warmoon Lord – but where good pastiche has some insight, Corrupted By Darkness feels like a routine drill.