8/10

Multi layered cake of guitars & atmospherically filled death metal. That is my first thought when “Illuminati” kicks into action.

Compared to previous releases this album has so many more legs to stand on in my opinion. Don´t get me wrong. I appreciate “Ravenous” with the raw, primitive music. I also enjoy the WWI trilogy of albums. But the addition of layers both from choirs and keyboards lifts this album.

I do get some spontaneous vomit feeling regarding keyboards in this kind of music, but I must surrender to the fact that they do fit the bill perfectly.

Going back to my first reference point of “Ravenous” to point out the difference between the experience as a listener you don´t have an abundance of blastbeats and constant speedy tempo through the album. “Ravenous” is like stated a rawer form of God Dethroned. Not a worse version, just different.

Do not fear though. There is diversity between the songs on the album. My favorite “Satan Spawn” is a rather fast paced song with magnificent choirs, a more hostile singing and brutal guitars going through the song. I love the tempo changes in the song. You almost get kind of a Slayer-ish feel for it. And “Illuminati” is a headbanging friendly number where choirs hits centerstage big time. A song like “Gabriel” with a catchy guitar intro and a mid to low tempo song and in the circumstances a quite tame piece of music as far as aggression is concerned really shows the difference.

This is an album where the lowest quality mark in songs are high. The peaks are very high, and this album presents a very competent group of musicians going forward in their creative way. Points for good use of keyboards and choirs throughout.

I am a conservative music listener and find it hard to move my boundaries of what is correct in a certain genre of music. I am proven wrong here. I must surrender and reevaluate my prejudice towards the use of keyboard.

Well done for that, and well done for an album that I suspect I will enjoy fully for a long time.

Band: God Dethroned
Title: Illuminati
Label: Metal Blade
Date of release: 2020-02-07
Stand out track: Satan Spawn