WHORE OF BETHLEHEM
13 December 2014
As debut releases go, ‘Upon Judas’ Throne’ from brutal death/black Metal quartet Whore Of Bethlehem is a solid chunk of extreme Metal from the Texan Metal veterans that feature two members of Scattered Remains and follows their 2012 debut EP/demo ‘The Crowning Moment’.
‘Upon Judas’ Throne’
You can’t fail to miss the strong influence of early Morbid Angel, particularly the lurching plodding pace that dominates a large proportion of the release, alongside a certain amount of Scandinavian death/black influences particularly that of Behemoth. All of this is successfully and proficiently executed so although it has been done before, it is done well.
I particularly enjoyed the twin vocals of Ryan Sylvie (Scattered Remains) who also covers guitar duties and James Van Den Berg, a balanced mix of deep growls and vitriolic screams that complement each other.
The ten track release clocks up thirty four minutes, with nothing straying too far past the four minute mark encompassing lyrical subjects of Satanism, murder, hatred, death and Armageddon.
Opening with ‘Upon Judas’ Throne’, immediately the Domination era Morbid Angel influence becomes noticeable. There is well phrased drumming from Rene Martinez, amongst the crushing riffs and the gutturals reach ground shaking depths, making this a promising start to the release.
All the tracks make a good listen but there are some tracks that really stand out above the others; ‘Christ Crusher’ which has such a catchy blackened groove, set that alongside the mix of vitriolic hissing vocals and deeper growls making it overall a superb listen, ‘Nocturnal Hauntings’ with its strong Behemoth influence, a plodding, pounding, addictive rhythm and some of the best drum work of the album, ‘Castle Of Meth’ which is more up tempo and intense than its predecessors with a great closing guitar segment and ‘Detest The Belief’ is another that storms through and the direction flips around nicely midway and continues to twist and turn in direction and tempo to the end keeping it an interesting and intense listen.
Regarding the rest, ‘Hideous Resurrection’ opens on a superb the blackened groove, ‘The Crowning Moment’ is a the shortest track at just over a minute long and is a crushing track with superbly phrased drum work, ‘Storm Of Plague’ has a great closing guitar segment, ‘Leviathan’s Crown’ starts with a dirty, almost doom like pace expanding out into a rolling groove and the closing track ‘Conjuring Your Death’ keeps it varied and interesting to the end.
‘Upon Judas’ Throne’ is a great debut release and one that makes me look forward to what Whore Of Bethlehem will come up with on future releases. The potential is evident and I am sure it will be realised.
The album is now streaming in full and available for purchase for $6 on the band’s Bandcamp page at whoreofbethlehem.bandcamp.com/releases.