When UK-based Crimson Throne let loose with their opening salvo in the form of last March’s self-titled EP, they immediately stood out from most of their black metal contemporaries for two reasons. First is their dynamic, richly textured approach to songwriting, which might tempt a person to hit them with a ‘post-‘ or even ‘progressive’ tag. I’d resist that temptation, though – spend a bit more time with their music, and neither really seems quite right.
Second, they’re also a bit more thoughtful lyrically than the average as well. A name like Crimson Throne may bring to mind either vampires or Melisandre the Red Woman from Game of Thrones. However, neither are sources of lyrical inspiration for the band. Crimson Throne draws heavily from German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel’s likening of human history to “the slaughter-bench at which the happiness of peoples, the wisdom of States, and the virtue of individuals have been victimized” from his book The Philosophy of History.
Their debut full-length Of Void & Solitude, due out October 19, continues in a similar conceptual vein. As per the band, the album “focuses on human suffering, pain & oppression, spanning across the ages of various cultures and their people.” Frankly, there’s something Hegelian in that idea as well. In simplest terms, Hegel is best known for his idea that history is a series of violent conflicts between binary opposites – i.e. opposing forces – often times in the form of an oppressor and an oppressed.
Far from being simply a lyrical conceit, that same sort of conflict between opposing forces can be heard in the compositional structure of “Sightless Remnants,” the first single from Of Void & Solitude, which we’re chuffed to be premiering the static video for here today at IMV. There are two distinct sides of Crimson Throne’s musical personality on display in the song. On the one hand there are droning, ambient passages with the occasional tribal-sounding elements that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Neurosis song. And then there are explosive passages of black metal, with feral riffs and one of the most bilious vocal performances I’ve ever heard in a black metal song. Seriously – I wouldn’t be surprised if there were pieces of their vocalist’s spleen on the microphone at the end of the recording session.
Of Void & Solitude will be up for preorder tomorrow via Apocalyptic Witchcraft (LP/CD/Digital) and on August 22 at Red River Family Records (Cassette). In the meantime, check out “Sightless Remnants” exclusively here at the Vault. If this song somehow doesn’t get you excited about hearing the rest of the album, then you may want to make an appointment with your family doctor becasue there’s clearly something wrong with you…