May 17, 2014

Filthy Music Review - 'Beneath: The Barren Throne'

Beneath – The Barren Throne (2014)

Unique Leader Records

Review by Jude Felton

Unless I was paid to do this full-time, there is no way on Earth that I could possibly review every album, EP or single that I would like to. The sheer volume that drops into my inbox is staggering, making it impossible to listen to even a fraction of them. That being said, we do try and get our reviews posted to coincide with the release date, although occasionally they get away from us. Beneath’s The Barren Throne is one such case, as it has been in stores for a couple of weeks at the time of writing this. However, the fact that I am still reviewing it speaks volumes for the quality of music.

Having been introduced to the Icelandic outfit through this very album, I was surprised to learn that they only formed in 2007/2008, with an EP and their debut album, which was also released by Unique Leader, already released. Like I said, I can’t get to everything! Anyway, The Barren Throne is a truly ferocious animal, one with depth, brutality and speed, not to mention intelligence and an obvious thought process to the creation of its being.

If you want a simple tag to file Beneath under, you’d call them technical death metal. This really doesn’t fully encompass their sound though. Yes, they play death metal and it is fairly technical, but sometimes you get a picture in your head of twiddly guitars, a million time changes and music that would confuse the fuck out of Pythagoras. Not always, but it has been known to happen.

Beneath do mix up their sound, adding plenty of variety to The Barren Throne, but rather than try and fit it all in on one song, they spread it out across the entire duration of the album. This adds character and distinction between the songs, which incidentally do follow a concept of an all devouring entity.

The Barren Throne, even when it thunders along at a furious pace, is an album that is best savored and enjoyed. Take your time to let the songs bleed into the psyche; as with many great albums, they need time to fully appreciate. Hell, I’ve listened to this I don’t know how many times and I am still discovering more of its labyrinthine depth.

So, yes Beneath do play technical death metal and The Barren Throne is a technical album. However, this is not to the detriment of the music contained herein. If you ain’t got the songs, you can be as technical as you want; I ain’t gonna give two shits about it. Beneath DO have the songs, and they have them in spades.

File The Barren Throne under the “contender for album of the year” heading; it’s that good.


1. Depleted Kingdom
2. Chalice
3. The Barren Throne
4. Putrid Seed of Affection
5. Iron Jaw
6. Sovereign Carnal Passion
7. Sky Burial
8. Veil of Mercy
9. Mass Extinction Codex
10. Storm Drainer
11. Unearthed

The Barren Throne is available now from Unique Leader Records.

No comments: