Artist: Bloodlet Throne
Single: Skyforge (Demo)
Country: United States
Written by: Aaron Michael Kobes (June, 20th, 2022)
Hailing from West Virginia, is the one-man Black Metal project known as Bloodlet Throne with his demo Skyforge. The tracks name comes from either the titular MMORPG, or a location of significance in the massively popular Skyrim; the latter of which being the more likely as the subsequent debut album titled Sovngarde is the Nordic afterlife within the game, in addition to the fact that the title of the project is named after a fort and quest in the same game. While Bloodlet Throne may still be in its infancy as a musical project, it has strong roots based in the Black Metal genre, particularly the Second Wave. Utilizing brutal soundscapes, and obscured vocal croonings to recreate a lo-fi energy of dissonance and nuance, Bloodlet Throne delivers Porto-Black Metal, as well as some adjacent genres, in all its grimy splendor and thus perfectly exemplified in the case of the Skyforge single.
The track begins with a wall of noise that is built from a harsh and all encompassing thrashing of a fuzz-muted guitar and aggressive, blast-beat style percussive track. There is a feeling of being in a thicket of brambles – barbs digging into your flesh as you stumble about trying to find your way in some be-damned mire. Adding to the discombobulation is a warbled thrumming of a low end guitar tuning, or perhaps a bass, the mass of sonic ooze being too congealed to properly distinguish, pummelling your ear drums. The warbling oscillates ever so slightly, causing just enough distortion to create a feeling of edginess or unease. The vocals soon follow in true Black Metal fashion, creaking with a rawness that is strained to bend and snap like brambles under foot; or perhaps it’s more akin to the already broken and trodden upon branches that ensnare the unwary traveler with thorns in a death spasmed defiance. Either way you look at it, the vocals come on grating and abrasive, as is the hallmark of the earliest and best of the Black Metal Scene.
Just south of the halfway mark, there is a small bridge, wherein the wall of noise abates slightly to a dull rumbling with a singular guitar riff, accentuated by a splash of drums. This acts as a sort of breather, or clearing amidst the mire, where, before you can even get your bearings in trying to decide which direction to head, you are once again entrapped amongst the briars of harsh vocality as it comes crashing back in, creating a feeling of near suffocation. This continues for a time before another slight shift, this time in the form of a breakdown that feels like an admixture of Crust and Thrash in its dependency on speed conjured by instrumentation rather than atmospheric noise. This is then transitioned into another slight variance, to an almost Blackened Doom feel that carries the song through to its conclusion by way of an open ended breakout, rather than breakdown given the openness in the feeling which runs in stark opposition to the claustrophobic pervance throughout the track.
Throughout the roughly three and a half minute run time, we are given a nuanced collage of several different genres of Extreme Metal that, to the untrained ear, seem almost superfluously similar: “all noise and screaming”. Restrained variations in tone and genre, however similar they may appear, speak more to the craft of the artist than any directionless blinding rage-scream that may be the surface appearance at first glance. In essence, the structure of this demo is analogous to the craftwork of Metal on the whole, easily dismissed by the very nature of what makes it beautiful, its stark simplicity in raw form that belies that strain and ardor of its creation. This same craftwork is also exemplified throughout Bloodlet Throne’s debut effort Sovngarde and even going so far as to incorporate Dungeon Synth elements for a truly varied experience, and which comes with an equally high recommendation.Be righteous by listening to and supporting Bloodlet Throne on Bandcamp: