Summoning the Lich – Under the Reviled Throne (Prosthetic Records)

Death metal isn’t usually my forte, as its insistence on adhering to derivative and formulaic lyrical themes leaves me cold, and has done for the last three decades and some change. And yes, I know there are numerous exceptions to the rule, but overdosing on bands with next to no self-awareness who were seemingly devoted to pledging allegiance to Satan, sacrificing virgins, murder, hammers smashing things, blood, guts, and gore when I was a teenager, left me with a lifelong distaste for the genre. 

I figured that existence was just too short to be spent listening to puerile hate spewed by a bunch of style-over-substance bands made up of twenty-something dudes who still live in their parent’s basements. For the most part, I still think I  was, and am right. There are, however, a few extreme metal bands that I would storm the Gates of Heaven itself to see whip audiences into a frenzy, namely Cradle of Filth, Ensiferum, and Nekrogoblikon as they defy expectation, don’t conform to cliche and have walked their own paths since day one. And, after spending a couple of hours listening to Under the Reviled Throne,  Summoning the Lich have just joined that incredibly short list.

Honestly, given that their name was inspired by, and the fact that their lyrical focus is heavily influenced by, Dungeons & Dragons and the fact that I’ve been playing the game since 1983, there was no way I wouldn’t press play on this record. Musically, it sounds like a glorious fusion of Midian era Cradle of Filth, Sepultura circa Schizophrenia, Fratricide, Clown Alley, and Sacrilege BC and like it could, and should, be the soundtrack to any, and all, adventures in the Barrier Peaks and Tomb of Horrors. In other words, if there was any justice in the world, this record would ensure that Summoning the Lich were showered in experience points in experience points, would push them to deserved next-level greatness, and guarantee their seats in the Halls of Valhalla.  I am, and forever will be, a believer… Tim Cundle    


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