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Album Reviews : God Dethroned – Under The Sign of the Iron Cross

By on December 13, 2010

The ninth album from God Dethroned is another great death metal chapter in their almost 20 year history. Under the Sign of the Iron Cross continues the WWI theme they unearthed with last year’s excellent Passiondale. It’s probably their most melodic album but also their heaviest,  due to new signings guitarist Danny Tunker and drummer Michael van der Plicht, both from a brutal death metal band called Prostitute Disfigurement. I’ve never heard or heard of PD but, with a name like that, I’ll go out on a limb and suggest they may be as vicious as a brutal death metal band can be. I could be wrong, they might wear white linen shirts and play the bongos but I’m thinking probably not.

Iron Cross delivers everything you want from a God Dethroned album – killer riffs and some cool harmonic leads, a barrage of double kick attacks, heaps of catchy melodic sections and Henri Sattler’s fierce vocals. He has the unique ability to deliver harsh vocals without garbling the lyrics. As with “Poison Fog” on Passiondale, clean vocals also make a brief appearance on the title track by Marco van de Velde from fellow Dutch band The Wounded.

The album kicks off with a brief intro before launching into a barrage of riffs and blastbeats with “Storm of Steel” and rarely backs down for the next 40 minutes. Standout tracks are the title track – the melodic intro and orchestral outro bookend five minutes of classic death metal.
“Through Byzantine Hemispheres” has a pretty cool lead which gives way to a monster riff. “The Red Baron” is a song about Manfred von Richthofen’s activities during WWI, but all I can think about when I’m listening to this song is Snoopy wearing that red scarf and flying around on his kennel in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

Iron Cross is short, sweet and to the point with a good balance of aggression, melody and atmosphere. It’s not a huge advancement from their previous effort and could probably even be considered Passiondale II but still very highly recommended. 7.5/10

Band: God Dethroned
Album: Under the Sign of the Iron Cross
Year: 2010
Genre: Blackened death metal
Origin: Netherlands
Label: Metal Blade/Riot

Track listing:
1. The Declaration of War
2. Storm of Steel
3. Fire Storm
4. The Killing Is Faceless
5. Under the Sign of the Iron Cross
6. Chaos Reigns at Dawn
7. Through Byzantine Hemispheres
8. The Red Baron
9. On Fields of Death & Desolation


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.