GOD DETHRONED has been one of my “go to” bands since the early ’90s, as well as probably the top extreme metal act from Holland. That’s why it pains me to say that their latest, Illuminati, is a very average release, and one that lacks the usual fire and fury we can expect from Henri Sattler and whoever his current cohorts are.

It’s not that the band have radically changed their style here, or that this lacks technical skill and ability. Something just seems off about it. It is generally slower than what we’ve been getting from GOD DETHRONED and while that is not a kiss of death, there is just something about the likes of the title track and ‘Eye Of Horus’ that sounds turgid. One thing very noticeable about the album is that there’s a ton of angelic choirs, religious instrumentation and bombastic touches. That might fit the concept of secret religions, but when GOD DETHRONED starts burying the music with this stuff, it makes them sound like they’re knocking off GHOST and BATUSHKA. ‘Blood Moon Eclipse’ and ‘Spirit Of Beelzebub’ are virtually smothered by all this pseudo-religious instrumentation.

‘Satan Spawn’ captures the thrashing fury of old GOD DETHRONED and ‘Gabriel’ and ‘Blood Moon Eclipse’ have some interesting melodic moments, but Illuminati is mostly a disappointment. The clattering digital drum sound doesn’t help matters either. The record is not terrible because these guys are incapable of a truly awful album, but they are sounding tired here and if they can’t elevate their next record, maybe they should think about hanging it up.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

Metal Blade
2.5 / 6