Throne are an Italian metal band about whom I know very little. In fact, I know next to nothing about the Italian metal scene, and without any biog and very little internet presence we’re going to have to wing this one guys! They are described as being a stoner/sludge metal band, two genres I do know a thing or two about, and as it turns out all their major influences appear to be bands I love, but don’t necessarily associate with the afore-mentioned genres.
‘Prefer to Die’ opens proceedings with the sort of wintery chords you find slowly intoned on Triptykon records. This avant garde doom is shot through with Queens Of The Stone Age snaking guitar lines, and vocalist Samu‘s long deathly growls. Very Promising. And so is ‘Buried Alive’ – a faster, blacker metal (but it’s not the Venom track) and punks it up a la Kverlertak. A lot of big boxes being ticked here, right?!
Like Kverlertak, Throne are not confined by the tiresome labels many bands have straighjacketed themselves with, but in ‘Days of Rain’ we begin to see the possible problems of trying too hard. There’s nothing wrong with the sounds, on ‘Days of Rain’, especially it’s early Celtic Frost aggression but it ends up a bit muddled with an odd bluesy feel sliding in near the end, the song seems to lack an identity, which becomes a fairly common complaint.
Throne, more often than not, sound like any one of several of my favourite bands; Pantera on ‘Black Crow’, Sepultura AND Kvelertak on the excellent ‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Smoke-Screen’, Gojira on ‘God Sent Me To Kill You’ and Kyuss on ‘Red Sun of the South’. Every song is like falling in love with my metal heroes all over again, but where are Throne in all this hero worship? Samu‘s vocals are consistently ‘on message’, but the tunes can sink under the weight of expectation.
All the ingredients are here for an album of total awesomeness, but the songs are not as memorable as memories they stir. Every track here is bloody great when it’s roaring out of the speakers, but somehow it’s not as strong as the parts created by it’s peerless influences.
Throne are playing in London next month, I think I need to see them, they clearly love all the same metal as me… and they’re heading in the right direction.