Genre: Death Metal
Country: Netherlands
Label: Metal Blade
Year: 2017

I’ve been a fan of these Dutch deathsters since 1997 and their second album ‘The Grand Grimoire’. From the moment I’ve listened to the first notes of ‘The Art of Immolation’, they immediately became one of my favorite European Death Metal bands. After 20 years and many quality releases, they are back with their 10th full-length album, released after 7 whole years of absence. But let’s cut to the chase.

The album starts with the short melodic instrumental intro ‘A Call to Arms’ and with the first notes of ‘Annihilation Crusade’ which follows, you can tell that God Dethroned are back with a vengeance. The characteristic riffs of the band, influenced mainly by Swedish Death/Black Metal, but also ingrained by the forefathers of the genre (Slayer, Possessed etc.), are present once again, as well as the melodic lead guitars which remind me of the early Gothenburg scene. The rhythm section is solid, with  blastbeats and double kicks on the drums, as well as the concise bass lines, blending perfectly with the guitars, while the growling vocals of frontman/guitarist/leader of the band, Henri Sattler, ideally match the aggressive/warlike atmosphere of the album. The slaughter continues with the self-titled song, one of the highlights of this album, along with ‘Close to Victory’ (another highlight, where you can hear Running Wild influences on guitars) and ‘Breathing through Blood’. In other tracks such as ‘On the Wrong Side of the Wire’, ‘Escape Across the Ice’ and ‘Messina Ridge’, the tempo is slowing down and there are some influences by more ‘mainstream’ bands of the genre, such as Amon Amarth. The final track ‘The 11th Hour’ is a doomy melodic epic, which is perfect for the closure of the album.

Lyrics, as well as the artwork of ‘The World Ablaze’, continue in the same path as their previous releases ‘Passiondale’ and ‘Under the Sign of the Iron Cross’. Historic subjects, dealing mainly with World Wars I and II, but also with lesser known aspects of world history, with ‘Escape Across the Ice’, which refers to the defeat and retreat of the White Army after the October Revolution in Russia, being a typical example. The production is modern, but not excessively digital and it gives prominence to the songs.

With the release of ‘The World Ablaze’, God Dethroned add another quality album in their rich discography, which will certainly satisfy their fans, as well as any other Metalhead who’s into extreme and aggressive, but at the same time melodic and epic Metal.

5.5/6