ALBUM REVIEW: Chariot Throne ‘The Unholy Design’

‘The Unholy Design’
Self-released, September 2015

Chariot Throne sound like they are about to burst from your speakers – the spectacular power of their imagination is plain for all to witness. They concoct a highly unique kind of doom rock; a curious mix of the gloomy and the avant grade.

Aside from the seemingly obligatory “creepy” audio samples from terrible B-movies that nobody has ever bothered to watch unless they’re showing off to their friends, this German quartet has a raw and natural ability to come up with really original and enjoyable stuff. This is their debut release, but the band sounds like it’s been in the doom-game for more that the mere four years they have clocked up.

From the classic doom riffage of the impressive ‘Descent’ to the blissful groove of ‘Far From The Sun’ to the heavenly expansiveness of ‘The Spirits’ Sanctuary’, Chariot Throne have put out an imperfect but very impressive album.

But at times the band’s performance on ‘The Unholy Design’ seems to be slightly restrained, somehow lacking in confidence or energy. The album’s impact is undermined by low-key production which stubbornly stops them from spreading their wings. If Manowar play on 10, Chariot Throne sound like they’re playing on 6.

While the guitars too often fade into the background, the rocky vocals are front and centre, sometimes a little exposed and lonely in the mix. Also, at just 37 minutes, the album flies by in flash, and perhaps Chariot Throne could settle into their songs with a little more patience and gravitas.

But none of these complaints can disguise the quality of the music – there is excellence aplenty to enjoy here.


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