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Under the Sign of the Iron Cross

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Album Review

One of heavy metal's most consistently underrated bands, the Netherlands' God Dethroned have nevertheless been building from strength to strength throughout the 2000s, and in 2009's Passiondale, delivered what in many fans' opinions was the strongest album of their career. Then, barely one year later, the quartet was already diving back into the foxholes of WWI in search of the morbid inspiration for their next album, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross, which, one would assume, promised to deliver something of a mirror image of its predecessor. Assumption confirmed: the album provided a severely distorted mirror image, capturing God Dethroned in their heaviest, fastest, ugliest, most uncompromising frame of mind in nigh on a decade, as evidenced by blazing blackened death metal stampedes such as the opening tandem "Storm of Steel"/"Fire Storm," and further merciless onslaughts like "Chaos Reigns at Dawn" and "Red Baron." This turn of events is obviously bad news for fans who took a shine to 2006's unusually restrained and melodic The Toxic Touch, but not entirely so, since God Dethroned intermittently involve strong melodic lines amid the reigning sturm und drang, namely on the title track, "Through Byzantine Hemispheres" and closing epic "On Fields of Death & Desolation." And, needless to say, the historical themes add another layer of entertainment depending on how big a nerd you happen to be. Finally, it should be noted that God Dethroned's attention to deep, dynamic detail eventually busts through their never-damaging attack over several listens, making it evident that Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is yet another album that both the band and their fans will be mighty proud of in years to come.

Customer Reviews

To Miss Kim Gingerich

What a stupid and extremely ignorant thing to say. You listen to Wiz Khalifa and Drake, so you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Just because of a name, you're going to judge an amazing band and claim they're satanists? Grow up and do some research before making a comment like that. Also, learn to spell "satanist." As for the album:

Fairly good. I liked it a lot more than The Toxic Touch. It's not as good as Lair of the White Worm, but it's still a very good album. My only problem is that it seems like the guitar is really overproduced, and it pretty much masks everything else on this album, which is unfortunate because the drummer and vocalist/guitarist are VERY talented. Is it their best album? Not at all. Is it good? Oh most definitely! I would recommend picking up this album. As I said, it's not their best, but it's definitely something you should keep in your CD Collection.

Every Bit As Good As 'Passiondale'

This album and its predecessor, 'Passiondale' are two of my favorite death metal albums I chanced across last summer and they are back in the rotation for this summer. This album continues with the same WW1 theme as 'Passiondale', and musically is just as good, but for some reason the production sounds muffled, less clear and epic sounding as 'Passiondale' (not a big deal though) still worth every penny.
I'm not sure what other fans think, but the occasional brief clean singing parts on these two albums really work for me by bringing the intensity to a fever pitch and in death metal (outside of Fear Factory) is kind of rare and seldom done this well.
Looking forward to new stuff by these guys.

Good ideas, BUT...

MUDDY much?
Too much guitar,
Too much FX,
Not enough drums,
def not enough vocal!!!
It's like he's hiding behind the music.
Make me love it, don't make me search for the meaning.
I have loved this band for YEARS, I'm sad that in 2010 the band that sang Nocturnal (sorry but imo, that is the most fun song they have written) which is crystal clear and no doubt what you are saying, is now putting out albums that he is either hiding behind or is being forced to be quiet.
Maybe it was just a bad mix or too many opinions in the recording process but WOW, TOO Muddy!!!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Dutch death-metal band God Dethroned was formed in 1991 by vocalist Henri Sattler with several friends (credited only as M. Beukeveld, M. Arends, and A. Dijkstra); they recorded a demo and got the opportunity to release an album on the small German label Shark in 1992. Titled The Christhunt, it did little commercially, and God Dethroned went on hiatus the following year, with Sattler forming a new group called Ministry of Terror. Following that band's 1994 album Fall of Life and a supporting European...
Full Bio
Under the Sign of the Iron Cross, God Dethroned
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