Slechtvalk - A Forlorn Throne

Published Wednesday 28th September 2011
Slechtvalk - A Forlorn Throne
Slechtvalk - A Forlorn Throne

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 115225-18149
LABEL: Whirlwind

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

Slechtvalk (peregrine falcon) is a Dutch extreme, Viking metal band. They have released "Falconry" (2000), "The War That Plagues the Lands" (2002), "At The Dawn of War" (2005) along with a hit compilation "An Era Of Bloodshed" (2009). With "A Forlorn Throne" (2010) they continued their concept album theme situated in a fantasy Norse world where battles rage between armies of good versus evil. The main change in sound on 'A Forlorn Throne' is that they no longer use female vocals and they have fully embraced the melodic death metal sound. Whilst keyboards do still feature, there is much more attention on the aggressive guitars. This has brought comparisons to Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir and Opeth. There are guest vocals from Erik Grawsiö (Månegarm) on three tracks. "Tamers Of The Sea" is dark and stormy as they set out on the ocean voyage to conquer distant lands. "Forsaken" takes a speed metal approach and heaps on the aggression, but does contain a clean vocal chorus "Too lost in my own sorrow, I didn't notice the changing surroundings/Can't remember how I got here, I think I have lost my way/I have been led astray from the path that I was following/The sorry state I am in, it feels so unreal" as it portrays defeat on the battlefield. There is an acoustic folk intro to "Divided By Malice", which tells of the warrior's retribution after finding his woman was beaten and subjugated by his enemy. "Allegiance" features synths underpinning the groove metal guitar and allows some variation into the proceedings. Then it's back to the dark pagan metal with rasping or growling black metal vocals. "Towards The Dawn" has several melodic interludes as it draws a breath as it exhorts "Rise now my brethren and fight till the dawn will release us from this mournful night/Follow me now as I ride through this sea of onslaught, death and fire, Arise!" The final battle, "Vengeance Of A Scorned King", is a brutal clash of medieval Norse armies with the ground made slippery by the blood of the fallen.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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