Suffering Upon the Throne of Depravity
Not bad but not great either
It never ceases to surprise me when a band pops up on my radar from a country that I never would have even considered when thinking about the geography of metal. The source of my surprise this time around is DaggerSpawn, a technical death metal band who hail from Serbia (Belgrade).
Musically DaggerSpawn tend to fall into the technical death metal category with some relatively complex compositions and plenty of ferocity in their music. Suffering Upon the Throne of Depravity is their debut release and appears to be made up from songs previously released on prior demos and split releases over the past couple of years.
The problem I have with the technical death metal genre is that, while there is a lot of it these days, there aren't that many bands that do it all that well and unfortunately DaggerSpawn happen to be one of these bands. There isn't actually anything wrong with the band's music per se because, as I mentioned, it's fast, technical and pretty angry, so on face value it appears to tick all of the relevant boxes, but the thing is that for the most part the music just isn't all that interesting; there's nothing here that makes the band stand out and offer up any kind of musical personality for the listener to latch onto. It's all pretty stock-standard blasting death metal from start to finish. To be fair, DaggerSpawn certainly aren't alone here because there are plenty of bands that play this kind of death metal that suffer from exactly the same problems, but the point still stands. It's a cutthroat business and bands need something special to make an impact.
What grated on me the most was that there are plenty of sections that are played out of time, which is pretty much the biggest sin you can commit in this genre. In addition, I'm convinced that the band utilised a drum machine for this recording, regardless of a drummer being listed as being in the band (and even if there is a drummer playing then the drums have been way too processed in the studio), which makes the act of playing out of time all the more inexcusable.
Tech death fans may find something of interest on this album but I suspect that the average punter will feel the way that I do - that Suffering Upon the Throne of Depravity is by no means a bad album but that it is nowhere near good enough to elevate the band anywhere above the second tier of death metal. Here's hoping that next time the band are able to refine themselves a bit and turn out something great.