The final part of God Dethroned’s World War One trilogy may never have been made, given the band’s decision to take a break back in 2011. Yet here is The World Ablaze, a fierce barrage of armour-piercing death metal which shows that founder Henri Sattler was right to reignite the Dutch act.
Certainly, On The Wrong Side Of The Wire, with its sturm und drang riffery, stands up to anything God Dethroned have unleashed in the past, as does the crunching title track. It helps that Sattler and new (ish) axeslinger Mike Ferguson are master craftsmen in the deathly arts, balancing brutality with thrilling melodic work, and that Dan Swanö’s expert hand has brought our every instrument in all its glory. It’s also pleasing to see that Sattler seems to be approaching his music with renewed vigour: if he needed to prove his credentials again as a songwriter, he’s certainly done so on The World Ablaze.
God Dethroned’s tenth studio opus isn’t without its flaws though. Occasionally the album’s impact is lost in a hail of kick drums and The 11th Hour, the record’s plodding closer, sounds like a song Bolt Thrower might have discarded after a quality control check.
Yet The World Ablaze boasts enough class to slate fans’ thirst after a lengthy drought… and is, on the whole, a confident, dramatic return to the fray.