Enthroned – Cold Black Suns (Review)

Enthroned - Cold Black SunsEnthroned are a black metal band from Belgium and this is their eleventh album.

Following on from 2014’s Sovereigns, which I really liked, we now have a new 19 minutes of material from this legendary band.

Enthroned really do have a lot of talent. One of the words I’d use to describe this album, (apart from the usual ones like dark, cold, intense, atmospheric, etc.), is inventive. Across the nine tracks here there are a variety of different styles, ideas, and moods showcased, and each song explores a different facet of black metal. It’s quite an exciting record in this regard, especially the very first time you listen to it as you never know what each song is going to present to you. Further spins solidify the dynamics and structures in your brain, and reinforces just how damn good Cold Black Suns is.

Despite each track being quite different from the last, holistically the album still works well as it flows and gels together as it should. Enthroned run the spectrum from sheer brutal violence to grim macabre atmosphere. Within this every single song shines at various points, but each for its own dark reasons. Individual in the best of ways, Cold Black Suns is an album that takes you on a journey of exploration and discovery.

You can tell that Enthroned have pushed themselves on this release. That feeling of hunger that pervaded Sovereigns is still here, only increasingly channelled into new and untested waters. Well, new and untested they may be, but Enthroned seem to have mastered them easily. Whether it’s the near-grindcore extremity of Hosanna Satana, the atmospheric black metal of Silent Redemption, the occult ritual that is Aghoria, the sheer relentless intensity of the bulk of Smoking Mirror, or the epic tale of Son of Man, Enthroned have broadened their horizons and produced an album of diversity and quality.

How many bands 11 albums into their career could produce something as vibrant and infectious as this? Not many, I’d wager. Make Cold Black Suns an album that you seek out as soon as you can.

Essential listening.

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