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Review: God Dethroned - Passiondale
God Dethroned

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 38:24
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: April 18, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (39 Votes)

I had almost written off God Dethroned again. I thought Lair of the White Worm was a huge improvement over the lackluster Into The Lungs Of Hell, but The Toxic Touch just bored me to death, and so I would likely not have investigated this one if I hadn't got it as a promo. That would have sucked, because this is a kick-ass album.

This is not really any different from any other GD album, but their riffs have not been this good in nearly a decade. Passiondale is an epic face-ripping blast of Death/Black mayhem that not only shows GD expanding their sound, but also writing the best songs they have penned in years. After a rather pointless intro track, we get right to the slaughter with the massive "Under A Darkening Sky" and they never fucking let up. "No-Man's Land", "Drowning In Mud", "Fallen Empires", the murderous "No Survivors"…there's not a bad song, or even an average one to be found. The album's highlight is definitely the epic "Poison Fog", which may be the best song this band has ever done with furious riffs, a moody middle passage with clean vocals (!) and some absolutely beautiful lead work – this is a kind of songwriting complexity I never thought I would hear from God Dethroned.

All through this disc GD show the maturity of their compositions with more dynamic and tempo changes than they have ever bothered with before, switching from slashing tremolo riffage to heavier, doomier passages that almost remind me of Bolt Thrower. This album manages to be vicious and relentlessly aggressive while still displaying a degree of complexity and epic sweep that really makes this stand out from their old albums. Bravo to God Dethroned for breaking out of their stale old formula and producing an outstanding work. Passiondale is this band's best work since Ravenous, and maybe their best.

Note that the track listing found on most websites does not match the one on this promo: the track order is different, and the intro cut "The Cross Of Sacrifice" as well as the song "No Survivors" are both missing on the online sources I checked. This might be an effort to catch pirates, or it might be just a fuckup, but I'm inclined to believe the track order and count from Metal Blade are the correct ones. But seriously, don't skip this album for any reason.

Other related information on the site
Review: Illuminati (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Into The Lungs Of Hell (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Passiondale (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Review: Ravenous (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Ancient Ones (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Grand Grimoire (reviewed by Mjölnir)
Review: The Lair Of The White Worm (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The World Ablaze (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Under the Sign of the Iron Cross (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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