Enthroned In Flesh is the latest offering from Astrophobos, following 2014’s Remnants Of Forgotten Horrors. Back when I reviewed the aforementioned release, I criticised it for being nothing new in the black metal genre, but Enthroned In Flesh seems to have taken a step in the right direction.
Don’t get me wrong; Enthroned In Flesh doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to black metal, but Astrophobos have definitely put their own stamp on the music this time round – and it’s great to hear a clear progression and a desire to move forward, rather than trying to emulate the biggest names in the genre.
The band give an energetic and high-octane performance from start to finish and the guitar solos add a nice bit of melody into the music to contrast well against the harshness and aggression of the other parts. EP closer The Cadaver Monarch is a particularly good example of how well the band blend the two different styles – opening with a stripped-back guitar line before adding in a gentle drumline and whispered vocals, when the harsh vocals are added on top a few short moments later, the two different approaches work well. The track progresses into a great guitar solo before a more ‘standard’ approach – but the strong beginning to the song really did make all the difference and helped to bring the EP to a fantastic climax.
There’s still a little bit of work to be done, but this is a strong release from Astrophobos and it will be interesting to see what’s in store with their next full-length offering.