God Dethroned: The lair of the white worm
18/10/12 || Pr0nogo
In 2004, death metal legends God Dethroned delivered a masterpiece of war, politics, and historical accounts. With “The Lair of the White Worm”, the four-piece from the Netherlands surpassed many of their past releases, if not all of them, and built the framework that would inspire the masterpieces that are “Passiondale” and “Under the Sign of the Iron Cross”. This is where it began, folks – this is where God Dethroned became a war-centered, skull-smashing, dictionary-defining death metal act. The stepping stones that came before pale in comparison to this record. As a mid-piece in their back-catalogue, “The Lair of the White Worm” is just what any band wants – a step up from the past, and a massive building block toward improvement. Do you know what that means, Bobby? Do you?
It means it’s time for it to be inducted into the Class of 666.
9. Some amazing structuring is present within this album. Seriously, I don’t know who’s behind it (probably Sattler), but these guys are fucking unreal. They know how to structure music. They know when to slow down, when to groove, and when to speed the fuck up and kick your fuckin’ ass, the latter of which is quite a bit more frequent. The groove moments on this album (see: “Rusty nails”) are impeccable, sure, but the real action is uncompromising and fucking deadly. Whether you like it or not, you’re being bent over – and your ass is gonna get kicked, hard. If you thought they were gonna slow down after the title track, you were way off, because “Loyal to the crown of God Dethroned” started playing, and your ass is suddenly gone again.
7.5. There are plenty of faults here, and most of them are bass-related (see that section for more details). However, this album’s production still succeeds in doing what the past albums didn’t. That’s right, Bobby, they boosted Sattler’s fucking amazing vocals above the rest of the mix, providing a natural leader for the band’s sound, and still fleshed out the guitars and drums very well. So, yeah, I don’t have much to say here; it could have done a lot more with the bass, but it didn’t. It did a lot with the guitars, drums, and vocals, so kudos for that – whatever the fuck kudos are. Fuckin’ granola bars or somethin’. I used to eat that shit when I was a kid…
8.5. The prelude to Sattler’s vocals lasts about four seconds, but it’s still memorable for what it is – and if you stop choking on the vox, you can make out the guitars pretty easily. The musicianship showcased here is both solid and proficient, showing that the band isn’t afraid of expanding their skill set and keeping things interesting for us hungry fans. The best part is that while the guitarwork on “White Worm” compliments the rest of the mix, it still serves as a way for the songs to branch off in new directions. Have you heard the title track? No? Fuck you. Listen to it. Halfway through, you’ll hear what I mean – the guitars and the drums together form an integral piece, but it seems to be the former (that’s the guitars, you idiot) that drives the change in pace and force. Really, really good shit. You don’t have to agree, sure, but you can also go fuck yourself, so there.
I figured out what kudos were. Somebody ship, like, eighty boxes of this stuff over to Sattler for his vocals, because they’re amazing. They grind, they shriek, they rend and tear, and they probably make bacon, too. Arguably the best part of Sattler’s performance is his vocals, and when you hear his proficiency with the proverbial axe, that’s not a small claim. What’s better is that despite his pure brutality, there’s still a strong key of emotion that’s very prominent in his vocals, and you rarely need to check a lyric sheet; Sattler is almost completely intelligible from the get-go, making “White Worm” one of the most accessible albums in God Dethroned’s catalogue without losing any measure of strength or force. I did mention vocals when I covered the production of “White Worm”, as well, and that’s not a mistake – these vocals are intense on their own, but because they’re coupled with the production, they reign supreme. Sattler delivers great guitar riffs, the occasional solo, and the always-fucking-fantastic vocals, all in one release. Imagine that.
For the record, I don’t even like bacon, but if Sattler’s vocals made me some, I’d eat that shit. All. Day.
7. The bass is hindered by the production. Absolutely. Fucking. Hindered. You can barely hear it, and the guitars and drums and vocals more than make up for it, but if there’s anyone disputing the quality of the album… they better be pinning the blame on the basswork. Or they can shove a fork up their ass and treat themselves to a spicy beef buttrito. Either way, their self-mutilation won’t affect the basswork or the production, so we’re stuck with a bloody asshole, an album without a solid bass performance, and no hospital within five miles. Good luck walking.
8.5. The drums are your standard God Dethroned drums, except better, because it’s “White Worm” and this album is that great. No, seriously, the drums are way more powerful this time around; Ariën must have found himself on this record, because his previous work on “Into the Lungs of Hell” wasn’t nearly as intense or punishing. If you’re a fan of the drumming styles you hear on the band’s last two albums, which you should be because only idiots aren’t fans of those albums, you’ll dig this record’s drums. It’s powerful, it’s punishing, and it compliments the rest of the band without sacrificing anything. Nothing more to say.
8.5. For a Nihilist, nothing is at least something!
This line. I don’t think anyone here knows how powerful it really is, unless you’ve listened to this album as much as I have. It’s fucking amazing. Its real meaning hit me while I was writing an ordinary review for this record, and I sort of stopped, rewinded, listened again, and erased what I had written so I could write this instead. Was it a bad idea? Probably, but fuck it. Nothing is at least something. The lyrics on White Worm are really great because while Sattler spits them with emotion and shreds the fuck out of your ears with his vocals, the emotion with which he delivers these words of suffering is truly felt. Not only that, but almost every lyrical passage is delivered in an addictive and – dare I say it? – catchy manner that the lyrics gain a new meaning unto themselves. The lyrics are intense, and the vocals only serve to compliment their gravity. The lyrics of “White Worm” are legitimately serious, and they were done right, too.
6. The artwork is utterly hideous. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea? It sort of goes with the title track (not really), but even so… it’s so UGLY.
Just LOOK at it! Ew.
It’s looked better on other albums, but it’s decent nonetheless. The grey makes it a bit hard to stick out properly, but I’m more inclined to hate on the album cover than the logo.
Overall and ending rant
Why are you still reading this? It’s a bunch of nonsense. Even if you read it out loud, it won’t sound half as good as this record does. Go listen! Go! GO! <— This is a playlist link, dummies
I had to upload “Last zip of spit”. See how much I love you guys?
- Released: 2004
- Label: MetalBlade Records
- Website: “www.goddethroned.com/”: http://www.goddethroned.com
- Henri Sattler: vocals, guitars
- Isaac Delahaye: guitars
- Henk Zinger: bass
- Ariën van Weesenbeek: drums
- 01. Nihilist
- 02. Arch enemy Spain
- 03. Sigma enigma
- 04. The lair of the white worm
- 05. Rusty nails
- 06. Loyal to the crown of God Dethroned
- 07. Last zip of spit
- 08. The grey race
- 09. Salt in your wounds