Enthroned Xes Haereticum

Black metal warriors Enthroned are uncommonly dynamic for a band of a genre infamous for its endless blast beats, gurgling demon vocals, indistinguishable guitar riffs and horrific sound quality. The guitar solos are the highlight of the record, being particularly creative and well performed, complementing the main melodies throughout the album. They’re quick to thrash, occasionally dipping into more rock-oriented riffs that even capture a groove or two. It’s typical in the fact that almost every riff is high-speed tremolo and the double-kick never ceases to hammer. Surprisingly absent is the epic essence most black metal is inclined toward. Enthroned capture the demonic presence and fury of Dark Funeral combined with the catchy melodic riffage of metal megaliths, Emperor. Thankfully the songs are all under eight minutes and the album clocks in under an hour. Already over ten years old, experiencing the usual large number line up changes, Enthroned have a erudite technique of songwriting and are able to distinguish themselves from the monotony that characterises black metal. (Napalm)