Jun 092018


(After a brief hiatus, Andy Synn’s WAXING LYRICAL series resumes today with the results of Andy’s interview of God Dethroned’s Henri Sattler.)

Those of you who’ve been paying attention may have noticed that there was no new “Waxing Lyrical” column published last weekend, largely because Islander and co. were busy with Northwest Terror Fest (and also because I was at a wedding all weekend).

Thankfully normal service can now resume, and today’s entry is particularly special to me, as it features insight and input from Henri Sattler of the resurrected God Dethroned, who just so happen to be one of my all-time favourite bands! Continue reading »

Feb 142011

Just when we were feeling unusually upbeat about Valentine’s Day, what with a new Amon Amarth track and yet another new track from Scale the Summit‘s next album (which is called “Gallows” and is streaming here), we got an e-mail from Andy Synn with nothing but “I am in mourning” in the subject line, and a link. A fucking depressing link . . .

. . . to a news item reporting that one of our favorite metal bands on the planet, God Dethroned, is disbanding. Unfortunately, it’s official, and confirmed in a statement by the band’s guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/mastermind/World War I historian, Henri Sattler.

This is particularly surprising since Sattler has been quoted as saying the band’s next album would be the completion of a trilogy about World War I that began with Passiondale and 2010’s amazingly good Under the Sign of the Iron Cross(more after the jump, including Sattler’s statement . . . and a song) Continue reading »

Dec 062010

In our oh so humble opinion, God Dethroned‘s Passiondale was one of the best albums of 2009 — even though, in our typically half-assed fashion, we didn’t get around to reviewing it until January 2010, nine months after its release (here). It was unusual in that it was a concept album about one of the most horrific battles of World War I, fought for control of the village of Passchendaele near the town of Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium.

In that battle, the British launched massive attacks, without any decisive success until the Canadian Corps took Passchendaele in November 1917. The result? The Allies had captured a mere 5 miles of new territory at a cost of 140,000 combat deaths — about two inches per dead soldier. And then five months later the Germans recaptured the ground they had lost, without resistance.

Passchendaele became a symbol of “grinding attrition warfare” and the heedless sacrifice of human life by inept military commanders. It would have remained a symbol of senseless sacrifice to this day, except with the passage of time, most people now know nothing about it. But God Dethroned resurrected the memories and constructed a masterful soundtrack to the horrors of that war.

But Passiondale did not exhaust Henri Sattler‘s interest in World War I. He and his bandmates in God Dethroned have now released the second concept album about “The War To End All Wars”. Under the Sign of the Iron Cross (the band’s 9th studio release) is, if anything, even more intense, more emotionally powerful than Passiondale, and it’s simply brilliant — a raw, ravaging assault on the senses that’s also loaded with infectious riffs and dark melodies. If we had the ambition to make our own list of 2010’s best albums, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross would be on it.  (more after the jump, including a track for you to hear . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 092010

Canadian 4th Division, Passchendaele, 14 November, 1917

So much to hear, so little time.

I liked Dutch blackened death metal band God Dethroned‘s 2006 album The Toxic Touch, and “On Wings of Pestilence” was one of those songs I came back to repeatedly. So when the band released its latest album, Passiondale, in April 2009, I promptly bought the CD.  But something happened.  I got distracted and I didn’t listen to it right away. I can’t remember why — other than the fact that I have the attention span of a hummingbird.

I listened to it this week for the first time — only nine months late — and was utterly blown away. The music is sick — the best this band has done in eons. But that’s only part of the story. This is one of those rare metal albums with a concept and lyrical content that are completely integral to the music and that turn what you hear into  something profoundly more powerful. “Epic” is an overused word, but truly, that’s what Passiondale is. (more after the jump) Continue reading »