Progeny of Sun – Throne of Desolation (Inverse Records)

Friday, 8th December 2023
Rating: 8 / 10

The evolution of Finnish melodic blackened death metal unit Progeny of Sun has occurred since their inception in 2017. Originally a two-piece with vocalist Niko Aromaa and guitarist Jaakko Hautamäki, the band developed a self-titled EP, signed to Inverse Records, and eventually filled out the lineup on the follow-up 2021 Dark Wanderer EP release. While creating the next set of material, the singles “Worthless” and “Anguish” hit the streets, setting the stage for the debut album Throne of Desolation. The album title refers to someone or something that terrorizes the existence of life in multiple forms when given authority – a great launching pad for what you can expect in terms of the diverse slower to speedier tracks on display through this set of material.

The raspy screams next to the grave summoning growls courtesy of Niko provide an interesting, blackened death cocktail a la Morbid Angel or The Browning for specific, hard-hitting numbers like “Heartless Dome” and the thunderous, tremolo-fueled meets head whipping “Coward”. Joni Kiviniemi and Jaakko unfurl some tight down picking riffs next to a slew of melodic death, progressive textures – check out the aural shifts within “False Radiance” as well as the Edge of Sanity-like measures put forth during “Restoration” as perfect terrain to enjoy deep dive discussion for exemplary, thoughtful axe action. Although most of the songs are quick hitters or very focused in normal radio-length arrangements, the band explores moodier, epic angles for the almost ten-minute closer “War of the Ages”. This song featuring at times calmer, clean voices, doom-like riffs, a lengthy instrumental sequence that shifts between crunchy guitar harmonies and pounding rhythm section mechanics as well as a finishing, hypnotic musical sequence that reaches a peak to fade out into oblivion – it’s a versatile effort that hopefully these musicians will engage in on future outings.

The darker textures keep Progeny of Sun into a more underground platform through their work on Throne of Desolation – which should appease those who seek out a blackened meets doomy style to melodic death metal. It’s a Scandinavian brand of heaviness dripping in emotion, never relinquishing the aggression yet still impactful through key tranquil transitions or noteworthy runs/hooks.

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