Dethroned Christ- Roots of Ancient Evil

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, November 26, 2011

If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed about the Brazilian metal scene over the years, it’s that the bands really seem to understand how to pull off raw material that doesn’t just blend together into one gigantic mess. One of the latest examples of this is Dethroned Christ, a black/thrash metal band that has been around since 1994 but has only put out a handful of demos. Their debut full length Roots of Ancient Evil offers almost 50 minutes of raw, dirty riffs that have the right mix of speed and melody and while it may be a little rough around the edges fans of this style wouldn’t want their metal any other way.

Make sure that you’re listening to Roots of Ancient Evil on a decent speaker system, as you’re going to really have to turn it up in order to hear everything that is going on. Dethroned Christ has utilized a very lo-fi production that makes everything sound muffled at lower volumes, but once you turn it up the instrumentals hit you with as much energy as possible. The riffs mix mid-tempo melodies that have an eerie ambiance about them with pure aggression and speed that recalls some of the early black metal from the 80’s. Every song has that rough around the edges feeling, as if at any moment the instrumentalists could completely lose control but that is part of what makes the album so appealing. Admittedly some of the extended instrumental interludes that slow the tempo down quite a bit does kill the momentum a bit and this is one area that could use some improvement next time around.

Dethroned Christ’s lead singer Hatewolf has an extremely distorted growl that at times sounds like the familiar black metal pitch but occasionally transforms into something entirely different. There are some moments where his lower pitched growls begin to get overpowered by the instrumentals, but usually when this occurs Hatewolf follows it up with a loud roar that can be downright terrifying. When compared to many of the other acts out there, these guys seemed to have found the perfect balance between the noisy instrumentals and vocals which makes both elements work together to assault the listener. I’d be interested in seeing if the inhuman reverb drenched roars are used in a live setting as well, as that would be an intense experience.

Roots of Ancient Evil occasionally runs into some pacing issues, particularly on some of the longer tracks, but as a whole it’s a stripped down, raw piece of black thrash that is reminiscent of some of the genre originators. While I tend to find myself wishing for slightly better production values when listening to many of these bands, Dethroned Christ is one of the few that could stick with the sound they have now and succeed. I don’t necessarily see this as some of the best the genre has to offer just yet as there is still room for improvement, but there’s no denying that Roots of Ancient Evil packs enough of a punch to warrant repeat listens.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Hammer of Damnation

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