Thronehammer – Usurper of the Oaken Throne

Rating: 3.0/5      
Distributor/label: Church Within Records
Released: May, 2019
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Band line-up:

Kat Shevil Gillham – Vocals
Stuart Bootsy West – Guitars | Synth | Fx
Tim Schmidt – Bass | Drums

  1. Behind the Wall of Frost 17:07
  2. Conquered and Erased 11:24
  3. Warhorn 19:12
  4. Svarte Skyer 05:22
  5. Thronehammer 09:25
  6. Usurper of the Oaken Throne 15:29

Boy oh boy, this is a long, long album for only 6 tracks! That being said, you can probably see that from the tracklisting. The first song isn’t the longest and yet it’s just over 17 minutes long. Whilst I appreciate a long track that tells a story I don’t feel as though this song had to be as long as it did. After the first 7 minutes, it gets extremely repetitive until the last 2 minutes. I feel as though this is the kind of territory I’ve come to expect when listening to doom metal, which I’ve never glued with in the past. I think there has only ever been one I enjoyed fully because it was a mix of doom and something else.

Now, musically, vocally and lyrically this isn’t a bad album and that’s usually where I have problems with the doom metal genre as a whole. This does have a steady beat to it and it’s still a little too slow for me at times but never so much that I feel bored. Something I will say about the vocals, however, is that the singers’ key is much better in the lower octaves. It seems like his voice is slightly too shaky and struggling in the higher notes. The second track is where I noticed this the most.

Track 3 is stunning instrumentally, especially in its acoustic segments. But again, I feel as though 19 minutes is far too long for a song. I found my attention starting to drift after 10 minutes, where it sounded like it was going to fade out any second before the vocals jumped back in and it went into acoustic again and then back to metal. It just seemed to go on longer than it needed, which unfortunately was a running theme.

In fact, if you skipped through certain songs after a few seconds to a minute or so forward it would seem as though you hadn’t skipped anything at all.

It’s not a bad album but as the saying goes sometimes less is more and I feel this is something the band can take on board and grow from.

Review by

Courtney Solloway