When listening to Throneless’s second full-length, it’s impossible not to associate the Swedish trio with Conan. In addition to being released through a label run by their main man Jon Davis, Cycles features much of the same caveman-style doom complete with tribal drums, fuzzed out riff work, swelling bass, and minimalist vocal lines. If anything, it’s a testament to how influential Conan has become in just a little over a decade’s time.
Thankfully Throneless knows what it’s doing and is a solid band when taken on its own terms. It wouldn’t be fair to call them a straight Xerox as guitarist/vocalist Johan Sundén’s pitch and vocal character actually have more in common with Type O Negative/Seventh Void guitarist Kenny Hickey. In addition, the band spends the bulk of the title track in more melodic, spacy territory that has yet to be explored by their leading inspiration.
That said, the band may still be securing its footing when it comes to songwriting. The album’s four tracks are varied enough and excellently performed but the actual compositions don’t leave as deep of impressions as one would hope. “Born in Vain” and “Oracle” bookend the album with some epic drones, the latter track is particularly monolithic, but they don’t offer much beyond what Conan already did with the similarly formatted tracks on 2014’s Blood Eagle.
While there’s not been much evolution between Cycles and Throneless’s self-titled debut, they continue to be a pretty solid doom group. There are rare moments like the title track where the band seems poised to leave the nest, but they seem to stay content to stay under their muses’ wings for the time being. If you’re worried about Conan going off the deep end with Revengeance and worry about what the future holds in store, this album should be a doomy comfort.