The growing accessibility of black metal has been a point of contention among fans for years, leading many to dismiss artists like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth for straying from their origins. Those same fans will be horrified by Throne of Chaos' Pervertigo, a gripping mixture of progressive metal and symphonic-black metal that doesn't shy away from pop melodies and virtuoso guitar work. This style blending may not have worked had it not been for the band's mature grasp of composition, allowing them to balance moments of harsh sonic savagery with soaring choruses built on bombastic keyboards and huge guitar riff. The use of multiple vocalists helps as well; Dream Evil's Niklas Isfeldt handles most of the singing with his dramatic, clear voice while fan-turned-temporary-bandmember Pasi Nykänen offers his abrasive growl for the moments of furious black metal. When mixed with the lush synths of keyboardist Carl Sjöblom and the nuclear-strength riffs and complex upper-register trickery of guitarists Joiku Harmaja and Taneli Kiljunen, the band's ambitious songs become a lively, unpredictable fusion of beauty and brutality. Throne of Chaos might be a purist's nightmare -- we won't even go into their dapper swing band fashions -- but they've made a fine melodic alternative to the unrelenting assault of their peers without sacrificing any of the drama or menace.
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AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano