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GOD DETHRONED - The Grand Grimoire (12" LP)

Netherlands | Blackened Death
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The "THE GRAND GRIMOIRE" album was originally released in 1997. Here is the official 2023 repress on Cosmic Key Creations. Issued under exclusive license from Metal Blade Records. Bloodred vinyl limited to 250 copies.

God Dethroned's second album, "The Grand Grimoire," marks a significant evolution from their early, more raw debut, "The Christhunt." This album, released five years later, saw the band undergo substantial lineup changes. While their debut showcased hints of complex songwriting and their signature riffing style, "The Grand Grimoire" solidified the band's sound.

The music on this album marries traditional death metal with a strong dose of black metal, reminiscent of the melodic Swedish black metal style popularized by bands like Dissection, Sacramentum, and Unanimated. This fusion retains the brutal intensity of death metal while embracing the cold, nihilistic darkness of black metal. A prime example is the track "The Somberness of Winter," especially in its verses.

One of the most remarkable features of this release is the band's masterful use of melodic guitar work. Unlike some melodeath bands, God Dethroned's melodies exude a dark and evil aura. Take the album's title track, "The Grand Grimoire," which boasts some stunning melodic riffing without veering into saccharine territory. Tracks like "Under a Silver Moon" blend intense, Angelcorpse-like verses with melodic black metal chord progressions in the chorus, skillfully balancing aggression and melody.

Lyrically, this album delves into Satanic and anti-Christian themes. Tracks like "Coloseum Serenades" explore the persecution of Christians by the Romans, while "The Somberness of Winter" draws from a Dutch legend about an explorer who stumbles upon a passage to hell. While the lyrics can be intense and occasionally awkward, they exude a sense of enthusiasm and fun.

Vocally, Henri Sattler adopts a raspy, black metal-style growl, delivering a sinister and evil performance. And let's not forget that stunning album cover – one of the coolest pieces of art in black and death metal.

In summary, "The Grand Grimoire" is a fantastic blackened death metal album and one of the genre's best. It's highly recommended for those who appreciate dark, evil, and Satanic music with a touch of melody.

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