A Throne of Ash is the sonic equivalent of a fast-paced psychedelic nightmare in the best possible way. Fusing a venomous, hateful strain of black metal with noise, hardcore, sludge, and drone, This Gift Is A Curse inject some much needed energy and innovation into the mix. It’s a record that reeks of innovation and should come with the number of a local exorcist or shaman. Yet, there are times when the delightful, deranged sounds recall an evil version of Norma Jean, if they worshipped the Devil instead of God. Indeed, this is certainly a “Shotgun Message” where Memphis and the entire world are likely to be laid to waste.
Sure, the idea of a Satanic blackened Norma Jean sounds hilarious, but nothing on this album should be laughed at. The riffs, the surprisingly pervasive atmosphere, the tortured vocals, everything is expertly crafted and performed; this is one terrifying yet beautiful ritual, one that laughs at the notion of reality. The individual songs themselves rarely stand out in large part because this is a contained novel, not a series of short unrelated chapters. It certainly helps that This Gift Is A Curse have only become more confident with age. All Hail the Swinelord was vital and vicious, but A Throne of Ash elevates literally everything about its predecessor: louder, more patient, more spiteful.
There’s a lot of noise about the parts of black metal that need to die (Nazis need to be rid from this earth); this is an example of how the genre can stay engaging without resorting to nationalism – this is the type of terrifying tunes that stick with you. A Throne of Ash will absolutely give you the heebie jeebies while causing your jaw to drop – both in horror and in awe.