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Following their second album, Onwards into Battle, Norwegian black metal outfit Bloodthorn underwent a major re-think, shedding their female vocalist and keyboardist along with the mythological story line that had dominated their first two records. The band recorded the transitional Under the Reign of Terror in 2001, but a variety of problems, from lineup changes to serious health problems, delayed the completion of the band's fourth album for over five years. Genocide is a far superior release than the extremely spotty Under the Reign of Terror, with more focused songwriting and a tighter sense of arrangement that emphasizes vocalist Krell's brutal (but not at all Cookie Monster-like) vocal style. Tightly packed with unison riffs and a hyperspeed rhythm section, Genocide is at heart fairly textbook death metal, but it's done with evident skill. Although some may regret the lost symphonic aspects of the group's earliest albums, Genocide proves that Bloodthorn have retained their technical ability and sense of aggression.

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