Throne of Ahaz

Melodic yet raw chilling winter metal, part of the discernible second wave of Scandinavian black metal evolution.

No Fashion

Production: Frozen melodic capture.

Review: Long before "melodic black metal" as a commercial incarnation of rock-n-roll in metal music, the freshness of the genre placed Throne of Ahaz ahead in their fusion of sawing nihilistic metal riffing with majestic yet minimalist melodies leading each piece in a circulation of its own essential moods and perceptions, from which an evolution can synthesize the final direction of each piece. Soaring detours of architecturally suspended melody link striated concepts in tone to increase tension as tone centers are seemingly forgotten to be regenerated in an überchorus which in the essence of Hessian music narrates to a deconstructive revelation of connections that complete a matrix of possibilities within a given structural paradigm, completing the song in exhaustion of its conflict through a larger ordering than either interpretation of the outcome of two independent combatants.


1. Northern Thrones (4:31)
2. An Arctic Star of Blackness (4:11)
3. Where Ancient Lords Gather (3:52)
4. The Dawn of War (5:45)
5. Nifelheim (5:57)
6. The Calling Blaze (4:32)
7. A Winter Chant (4:31)
8. The Kings That Were... (4:24)
Length: 37:55

Copyright © 1993 No Fashion

Majestic in choice of depth and tone to reflect both sadness and a wandering lustful ambition for the unformed and chaotic in adventure and life as existential journey, these panaromic disclosures unravel in lengthy contributions of melodic resonance to structure, forming within nothingness a landscape on which action changes like ghostly lightning. Thematically inclined toward the Romanticist, these collections of motif in phrase and rhythm maintain an anthemic independence to each song without arriving at formula or repetition in any intrusive degree, returning to a core synthesis for exegesis of the fusion of past with present in the introduction of new or oppositional themes. Throughout these pieces a sense of pacing maintains listenability while a tendency toward the articulate in structure drives an underlying satisfaction.

Suggesting strength and experience instrumentalism is subdued but adept in adaptations of composition to physical form, sustaining songs with guitars leading rhythm encased by referential percussion which captures rhythm by overlapping its structures onto unformed space within the context of constant potential for change. Harsh and inflected with theatric counterpoint to song, vocals spray into the stream of string resonance and fill space with timbre and rhythm. These as aggressive elements in support of beauty based around songs branching from key points of a central melodic figure in repetition of that structure are part of a motion to bring structure and appealing form within morbidity to the chaos of black metal, something which appealed to bands at the time such as Graveland and Dark Funeral.

While some rock-n-rollisms intrude as odd fills and sustenance budget riffing, these are few and are dwarfed by the classically-styled phrasing executed with precision columns of power chords as used by fast-strumming metal bands worldwide; classicism fills also choice of change in harmonic voicing and structure in the choices used to expand themes. Rigid and well-defined, these songs grow within themselves by conquering space with memorable themes in melody, and build upon that with classic elements of black metal to deliver uniquely coherent praise of the unformed. Nocturnal in transgression and also a sublime sense of natural beauty, this music is intuitive listening.

1. Fenris
2. The Forlorn
3. With Shadow Wings
4. On Twilight Enthroned
5. Where Veils of Grief Are Dancing Slow
6. Let Blood Paint The Ground
7. Blackthorn Crown
8. Black Sabbath
Length: 43:29
On Twilight Enthroned (No Fashion)
Throne of Ahaz stand between the aggressive, sawing, simple black metal of Bathory or Venom and the melodic uberstyles of a Dissection or Gorgoroth. Their songs repeat simple patterns in layers to create an atmosphere which is then potientiated by the angstful major themes of each song, melodies riding the rhythm swell of each riff. Unlike their first release, most of this material is at high speed of both tremelo picking and techno-stylistic running percussion, and none of it is as strong as the work on "Nifelheim." Behind the whole the patented screech of black metal bands everywhere, done in the special intonations unique to Throne of Ahaz, blasts out lyrics which like the music seem to aspire to some current black metal standard aesthetic ideals (Dark Funeral, Ancient, Darkthrone). Individualism hides behind the originals in measured doses, but the listless cover of "Black Sabbath" adds little to the experience.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE

Copyright © 1988-2004 the Dark Legions Archive