THRON - Pilgrim
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 19th February 2021
Record Label(s): Listenable Records
SXIII - Bass
ZIV - Drums
PVIII - Guitars
TVII - Guitars
SAMCA - Vocals
THRON - The Prophet
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): The Prophet, Nothingness, Hosanna In The Highest, The Reverence, Den Of Iniquity
Hailing from the dark Black Forest region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, THRON offer up an interest and intense demonically possessed experience on their new album, Pilgrim. The album title in itself has religious connotations, but in this case it is in the guise of mystic mythology blessed by Satan himself. Blending atmospheric synths with crucifying unrelenting riffs Pilgrim offers up a truly diabolical listening experience in the same vein as 1349. Following on from 2018's thundering sophomore album Abysmal, the band have evolved and expanded their already sophisticated modern black metal sound. Pilgrim builds up a sense of grandeur and complexity that transports you to a dark, harrowing and haunting place that has a mystic and gloomy romanticism hidden deep in its shadowy surroundings.
Musically the album fits quite comfortably into a modern black metal mould, incorporating more innovative and progressive elements to distinguish itself. What stands out the most is the albums limited but very effective use of choral ensembles and synth elements. Each time they appear it feels very calculated to deliver the maximum impact within that particular section, The Reverence is probably the best example of this. The eight minute epic has rousing sections that stir even the blackest souls, flanked by merciless and brutal black metal riffs, effortlessly flowing into one another to create a grand climax in the middle of the album. The lyrical themes of satanism and beliefs are very focused on personal worship, this focus also approaches the tougher questions we all have in ourselves about our own personal beliefs and practises. There is a sense of disarray and turmoil within the lyrics which is highly relatable, channelling the ups and downs of someone's spiritual experience. Obviously, this is a given considering the album's title but it isn't very common that a black metal album is this introspective. Where many use their beliefs to lash out on others, Pilgrim seems to lash out on itself bringing a whole new level of misanthropy. Eventually, the "Pilgrim" succumbs to the demonic devices towards the end of the album, perfectly demonstrated by Into Disarray, but the metaphorical journey is tense, tumultuous and exciting all at the same time. Whether this is a concept album is unclear, but each song seems to tie into one another effortlessly, transcending the boundaries of each starting and finishing point. The riffs have the rhythmic chunkiness of death metal accompanied with leads the reach out, with icy hand, and vice grip your soul. The most surprising part of the album was the more ethereal section in the album's opener The Prophet. It creates an eerie and haunting atmosphere that will catch some listeners off guard if they have not head the single before, however the next brutal section breaks the uncomfortably mesmeric trance that this section puts you in. Pilgrim also has a very strange overarching atmosphere, while the name has you conjuring up dark, medieval imagery of a group of self-flagellators there seems to be a modern grimness to it. It's oppressive, as if you've been possessed during an apocalypse and the mouth of Hell is ready to eat you whole. Within this organised chaos the relentless riffs keep coming at you, despite various progressive excursions the band have really thrown the hammer down to create a truly merciless album. Overall, the album is a vulgar and haunting representation of inner spiritual struggle to the back drop of precise and apocalyptic riffs and blast beats.
The album's production is huge, it just seems to build up like a great cavernous chamber around you, resonating off the stone walls into the pitch darkness of the cave. The kit sounds tight and cohesive, anchoring the music with its pounding kick and sharp, resonating snare. The cymbals work hard to help augment the atmosphere, crashing and echoing into the void, adding shimmers here and there to create atmosphere around the chaotic thrashing. The bass is thick and heavy, filling the low end with its refined distortion, accentuating and supporting the rhythm guitar tones. The rhythm tones themselves are a bit thin in sections, but sharp as glass when required creating the traditional, frosty, cold black metal aesthetic. The lead guitar tones vary and this helps with dynamic of the songs. Sometimes they are haunting and sombre, and in other occasions they cut like knives, this balance adds extra layers and texture to the album in precisely the right places. Overall, this mix helps augment the atmosphere created by the music ridiculously well, as nothing feels lost, everything has it's perfect positioning to deliver maximum shock and awe.
If you fancy some brutal black metal to liven up your day, THRON have got you covered, join them on this demonic pilgrimage.
THRON - Pilgrim