Invoking The Majestic Throne Of Satan
[War Hammer]

If anything actually comes out this year better than Inquisition's latest, it might have to be absolutely flawless. Gone are any traces of bad experimental vocal changes, overused tempo alterations, or cheap death metal structures from the early days - this is simply one black and straightforward notch above even the incredible Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult, and it thrives and seethes with so much 80's vigor (Bathory, Bathory, Bathory) that sometimes I think I'm listening to a more thundering version of Hell Awaits. There's really not much to say other than that Dagon has simply outdone himself in all possible aspects; the seemingly Typhon-inspired vocals are no longer anything but complete freezing hate, and the riffing is one endlessly raven atmosphere of sheer loathing, flowing over forever energetic drumming from Incubus. These Colombians have produced something impossibly evil and malevolent sounding, and while I definitely had my eye on the band for a while, I never could have expected this.

There's a moment in "Rituals of Human Sacrifice for Lord Baal" where the music sort of "bottoms out" around the fourth minute, and all of a sudden Dagon's machine voice is sonically echoing something about sacrifice along with an inhumanly dark riff - it's so great it reminds me of the time I fractured my foot kicking a wall during "Triumph of Death," and the album's following self-titled track is another unbelievable killer. Honestly though every song on Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan is nothing but amazing, and it's as consistently chaotic as the early Graveland recordings. The only thing out of the ordinary would be number ten; succeeding the nine blasphemous hymns is sort of a minute-long orchestral marching number, and since I don't think it's meant to be an outro I'm not really sure what it's purpose is, but it doesn't detract from an overly masterful release.

Despite everything though, I do have one complaint - I wish the vocals in the first few tracks had been pushed farther into the foreground, more along the lines of Ancient Cult (I had a moment of dread when it started that this would not be nearly as good as that was). Fortunately that feeling subsides rather quickly, and within minutes you're so caught up in this it will rip it's way inside of you.

Destined to become a classic. This is easily one of the best albums I have heard in years.

2002 hando