Throne of Heresy – Antioch (The Sign Records)

Monday, 15th February 2016
Rating: 7.5/10

What’s more important in death metal, soaking in some melody or going full out with speed? Your choice does impact what your thoughts will be upon hearing Antioch. Of course, there’s no right answer, and plenty of bands are able to find the right mix of both. But Throne of Heresy is one that leans more heavily on melody than speed.

With an EP and full-length album already under their belt, Throne of Heresy have been doing their thing since 2009. A very large chunk of Antioch keeps the emphasis squarely on keeping the mid-tempo charge going, albeit with numerous melodies (some of which are less subtle than others). “Serpent Seed” gives a pretty good impression of what to expect, focusing on solid groove that fits the bill without making it sound too modern. “Nemesis” continues this same approach, and it notable for the solid leads as well as some melodies that push things towards, but never into, melodic death metal territory. A nice change of pace comes in the right time though, with “Flagellum Daemonium” (what a title!) elevating the tempo a bit more into the reckless category. “Phosphorus” later continues this trend, and is a good reminder that the band has a really good grasp on pacing themselves, as well as being able to adequately write “songs” and work things in (tempo changes, melodic tones) as needed in a particular track.

While Antioch may not keep a lasting impact due to the purely death metal format, it’s a very skilled attempt at keeping songwriting at the forefront. Don’t expect a full-out assault (though there are a few exceptions), but is it strange to say that this is some good ole balanced death metal?

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