Throne of Heresy – Decameron (The Sign Records)

Thursday, 26th October 2017
Rating: 8/10

What’s a more fitting topic for a band that plays blackened death metal than to cover the Black Death itself? That’s exactly the background for Throne of Heresy’s third album, Decameron. The concept album lifts the band into the next level, bringing together a well-rounded effort that merges melody and brutality in the strongest of ways.

Compared to their last effort, 2016’s Antioch, it’s clear early on that Throne of Heresy have no interest simply repeating themselves. Not to say that the melody-friendly death metal act has shifted gears entirely, but there is a significantly different vibe to Decameron. Where they had no problem implementing melody in the past, what comes off here feels a bit more dark and macabre. The melodies never approach the ‘happy’ arena, instead bringing a more melancholic and bleak feel. It’s a perfect fit to the Black Death concept that they handle. The best part of this is how they can keep things more aggressive while bringing in some more memorable aspects. For example, “Siege of Caffa” ups things towards faster tempos, but also finds time to bring in some energetic riffing that will stick in your head. There’s also a lot more conscious effort put into the atmosphere and mood. There’s the implementation of acoustic segments, ambience, synths, and more as you venture through the album. All done with genuine intent – no gimmicks to entice, just built in naturally to accentuate the already present feelings that linger though the release. The title track and “The Pale Burden” are two examples of how this is best executed, with the former even bringing in some guest clean vocals that mesh well with the gritty feeling of the track.

Everything looks on the up and up for Throne of Heresy on Decameron. A very suiting concept is the perfect vehicle for the band to capitalize on their melodic strengths, while bringing them to a new level with a darker overall mood. Solid death metal from beginning to end.

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