Carpathian Forest - Defending The Throne Of Evil
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
12 songs (51:09)
Release year: 2003
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Crims

Carpathian Forest is a band that blurs the line between raw and accessible Black Metal. Essentially, their musical style, song writing, and image is based around the early to mid 90’s Norwegian scene (in which they began their career), but their take on the production is more modern with a louder bass sound and heavier guitars, along with some thrashier parts (something Absu has worked into their music ever so slightly as well). Though an enjoyable Black Metal release, Defending The Throne Of Evil does not always succeed as much as it probably should.

Taking influence from the Darkthrone school of riff development, Carpathian Forest are not trying to wow anybody with technical wankery or prowess (depending on your point of view), but instead are focusing on simple but effective song writing. Most songs contain some kind of atmospheric build up to blast beats and or double bass, while moving between the two tempo styles often. There are straight blasters such as on Christian Incoherent Drivel as well, and as you can tell by this title, the lyrics a pure Black Metal blasphemy. Stereotypical? Perhaps, but they make for an interesting read. All songs also contain keyboards, however, they are not really that prominent in the mix. Carpathian Forest is by no means Symphonic Black Metal, as the keyboards are only used occasionally in the background, similar to what Graveland has done on a couple of their CDs. The keyboards are effective in adding textures to the atmosphere and they give the band a little more depth than typical Black Metal bands of this style, however, the best Black Metal bands pull off the atmosphere without the keys in my opinion, but Carpathian Forest are still good at what they do, keyboards or no keyboards.

Vocal wise the band uses a typical but very well done traditional Black Metal style. The phrasing is excellent and the vocals never get grating (to me at least). To help add that extra oomph, an ever so slight growl is added into the background in most vocal lines. The Black Metal style is always at the forefront, but this background growl is used to great effect and helps make the songs very catchy, which is what Carpathian Forest need because most of the riffs aren’t as memorable as I would like in really good Black Metal. Don’t get me wrong, there are some quality riffs, but they’re not at every turn.

Where the band succeeds is the previously mentioned vocal delivery, and catchy double bass runs. The band really is at their best when they are playing various fast double bass/snare tempos with Darkthrone style riffs and they falter somewhat during the blast beats and atmospheric parts. I did still enjoy the slowed down sections but only because it gives variation to the songs and they give off a feeling of anticipation, and some blast beat sections do have really good riffs. There are three throw away tracks, however, two being The Old House On The Hill and Cold Murderous Music. These two songs are basically vocals with muted, hollow sounding sounds in the backgrounds, some of which is music. They’re interesting for the first minute or so and then I just wanted to skip ahead to the next song. The other throw away track is Necrophilliac, Anthropophagus Maniac which has gore based lyrics that would make even Cannibal Corpse grin. It’s not really the disgusting lyrics I have a problem with either; it’s the fact that the song just isn’t that interesting, perhaps the creative juices were lost on this one. Otherwise most of the songs are solid with only a couple touches of blah, but there is enough good material on Defending The Throne Of Evil to appeal to most Black Metal fans. I also think this is a good starter point for a person who wants to get into the traditional Black Metal style but is having a hard time looking past the production.

Killing Songs :
It's Darker Than You Think, Skjend Hans Lik, Put To Sleep Like A Sick Animal!!, One With The Earth, and Christian Incoherent Drivel
Crims quoted 76 / 100
Jay quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Carpathian Forest that we have reviewed:
Carpathian Forest - Morbid Fascination Of Death reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Strange Old Brew reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Black Shining Leather reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Through Chasm, Caves And Titan Woods reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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