XIII Years Of Chaos


'Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!' Many an Empire manling has […]
By Matt Bozenda
December 17, 2020
Skullthrone - XIII Years Of Chaos album cover

'Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!' Many an Empire manling has fallen to the ringing of those words, bellowed from the slobbering mouth of a Crimson Skull Cultist or some other vile Khornate. The Warhammer franchise can readily be described as something of a heavy metal version of Lord of the Rings, and in the same way those great books have influenced generations of singers and songwriters, Warhammer has left its mark as well, with the symbolism and lore of the forces of Chaos lending themselves quite comfortably to the growing community of metal gamers.

The hand of Khorne reached out to a couple of kids in Poland, who have since made their way to London and expanded their band, and driven them to create "XIII Years Of Chaos", the second album as Khornate champions SKULLTHRONE. With a few extra flavors subtly added, this is as close to a pure Black Metal album as one will hear new today. Despite the name, the sound the band creates is far from chaotic; actually, it is consistent, and consistently good for that matter.

It all begins on "Intro (XIII Years Of Chaos) ", an instrumental piece repeating a few bars here and there, and at over four and a half minutes, manages to outpace four other tracks. "The Devil And I" follows up adding the vocals, which immediately gives the band a feel of early CRADLE OF FILTH.

"Unnamed Creeping Terror" stands out as a strong possibility for a single, probably finding an easy home in the playlists of Black and Extreme Metal radio. The next track, "Thanatos", has much of the same feel, and would likely do just as well as the album's flagship tune. The last track, "My Madness", strays a little from the consistent style employed up to now. While not necessarily a detriment to the album as a whole, the song, also the album's longest, feels overwrought. Credit where it is due, however, as the last two minutes clean up very well and redeem the track overall.

The roots of Black Metal get a bit of nourishing from the old waters of Punk, and that's clear enough on "XIII Years Of Chaos", whose seven tracks at a scant twenty-seven minutes feels like a lot in such a short time. To that effect, there's a lot to like about this album. It's a quick romp that doesn't have enough time to be dragged back to Earth, doing what it came to do and then leaving.

It's not easy to make a sophomore album, let alone one that builds on and improves the legacy from the first, but SKULLTHRONE has done just that. "XIII Years Of Chaos" is a clear step forward from 2016's "III", both stylistically and artistically. As they are followers of Khorne, one must wonder if the band does intend to release eight full albums to reach the sacred number, but if they do, number three has been all but assured. So, if SKULLTHRONE can resist the influence of Tzeentch and continue with this good thing, they will most certainly find continued success.

8 / 10









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"XIII Years Of Chaos" Track-listing:

1. Intro (XIII Years Of Chaos)
2. The Devil And I
3. Life Is Only Towards Death
4. Anti-God Rebellion
5. Unnamed Creeping Terror
6. Thanatos
7. My Madness

Skullthrone Lineup:

R - Bass, guitars
W - Guitars, vocals
Hellishdust - Vocals

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