Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Utah Jazz

DETHRONE THE SOVEREIGN – “Dethrone The Sovereign” CD EP ’09 (Private, US) – I have to admit that my first impression upon hearing this 6-song effort from Utah’s DETHRONE THE SOVEREIGN was “What the hell?” The first track, “Carnival Of Horrors” struck me on first blush as an oddly slammed-together package of thrash guitar riffs, alternating black metal shrieks / death metal growls with a canopy of keyboards draped over the entire affair. This impression continued with “Acceptance” and my initial listen wasn’t gaining a whole lot of footing until the intro to “Legends Of The Hidden Temple” came up and took me by surprise. Here was an almost accessible opening, bathed with harmonies I hadn’t expected at all. And yes, it led into a math-like thrash attack, but one that seemed suddenly a lot more cohesive. It then progressed into a middle section that could be the soundtrack to a host of souls chanting in The Grand Hall Of Pandemonium. “UniBrain” and “Skin (w)horse” feature more well-crafted melodies among the prog-death tableau, including a positively soaring middle part in the latter. With “Sects,” DETHRONE THE SOVEREIGN save the best for last, a nearly all-instrumental cut that sees the band reach an apex around 1:50. Gorgeous melodies and the best guitar work on the disc dominate here, as they slow down on the neo-classical shred-fest and play with real emotion. In several listens to this EP, I think that DTS are quite possibly onto something unique here. As the disc unfolds, it sees a band who are not afraid to try something new and coupled with that, have a very strong command of melody. I’d like to see them accentuate that and smooth out a little more of the math-y stuff. That in mind, I’m looking forward to what they do next and in the meantime, I say check this one out. Ready To Ascend

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