Throned In Blood

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With their 2010 release, Throned in Blood, it is now official -- Jucifer are by far the loudest duo in all of rock. Few bands push the sonic boundaries like screamer/guitarist Amber Valentine and drummer Edgar Livengood -- and that's certainly saying something, since the early 21st century saw quite a few metal bands beef up their ranks by considerably expanding upon the expected singer/guitar/bass/drum template. But while Throned in Blood is one fierce assault, it appears to be a step backward songwriting-wise when compared to their previous release, 2008's L'Autrichienne, which saw the duo go the "jukebox route" and touch upon several different rock subgenres. Instead, Jucifer opt to turn the amps up to ten and focus first and foremost on the sheer sonic onslaught of it all, especially on the one-two punch of the album-opening title track and "Contempt." Elsewhere, "Work Will Make Us Free" starts off Sabbath-like before collapsing into a Slayer-esque free-for-all, while tracks such as "Disciples of an Expanding Sun" and "Spoils to the Conqueror" sound like the Melvins' more "meandering" moments. In fact, the only part of Throned in Blood that brings to mind what made the more varied L'Autrichienne stand out from the rest of the pack is the album-closing "Armageddon," which is a stark vocal/banjo lullaby. While Throned in Blood is quite a metallic roar from beginning to (nearly) the end, it's a bit disappointing when compared to its far more unpredictable predecessor.

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