WRATHRONE – REFLECTIONS OF TORMENT – SATANATH
Finland is next door to Sweden and so Wrathrone plays glorious death that not only nods at its neighbour, but also delivers on the quality and standards of bands like God Macabre, Sacrilege, early Entombed and Dismember. To get it out of the way, there are a couple of impressive composers and instrumentalists on this album. The more one listens the more awed one is with the drummer, the guitar riffs and intermittent macabre melodies that hint at the band’s admiration for early Tiamat and Nirvana 2002, the distorted bass and the dual vocals that supply power and horror. Reflections Of Torment is good at both the slow to mid-paced interludes and the bestial dash to the finish line the speedier moments create. The group’s knack for melodious interludes could also be a hint at the very early Sentenced and Demigod too – or it may be a certain suggestive bias since the members, like those bands, are Finnish. The leads are capable and coupled with the mystic melodies Wrathrone can compose make Reflections an even better album. Unfortunately lead guitars are short. Oddly, they all appear towards the end of their respective tracks. Finally, the production is wholly suitable for the sub-genre. The music and vocals are audible, yet the band’s sound hints at early to mid-‘90s technology for that added authenticity feeling!
End Of Your Sanity could have been on Left Hand Path. The muddier sound here may be detractive, but elsewhere on the track the second vocals and screams add an element of interest to things. On Bloodline the guitars begin the assault before everyone else kicks in. There is a wicked bass sound on the song and a horrific growl. It is not unusual for Wrathrone to execute an interesting rhythm while the drum blasts forward autonomously. Through Desolate Passage has a winning rhythm, Dead Inside Me has some manic drumming and deeper vocals. Last Journey North begins deceptively melodically before blasting forth – and has a melody reminiscent of the piano in the film Eyes Wide Shut – and so it goes.
Wrathrone is a contemporary trip through time. This may be ironical, but as far as ironies go here is one: my bet is that most of the original Swedeath bands could not do today what Wrathrone does on Reflections Of Torment. – Ali “The Metallian”