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Throne of Chaos "Menace and Prayer" review of this great melodic death metal album
The cover for the album Menace and Prayer
Some information about the band Throne of Chaos also known as TOC
Finland has so many bands that are in the melodic death metal genre that it is just amazing. One of them was known as Throne of Chaos which was active from 1996 to 2005. The band originated from Espoo, Finland and they were compared to Children of Bodom, a band that I began listening to back in 1999. Menace and Prayer was released the year after Children of Bodom’s solid album called Hatebreeder. Well this one is very solid too because of the good harsh vocals by Taneli Kiljunen, good keyboard play and brilliant guitar work. Of course, good drumming is also essential to the quality of an album. The band split up due to its inability to really have commercial success even in their home country of Finland. Lullacry, the Finnish gothic rock band also broke up but they did so after more than 16 years together as a band. Lullacry really became an elite band after their 3rd release called Crucify My Heart in 2003 and their first one with then new vocalist Tanja Lainio. Note: it is now 2017 and Throne of Chaos and Lullacry have both disbanded and it is a huge loss for the Finnish music scene given how talented these two bands were. But you are about to witness the greatness of the album Menace and Prayer!
Track Listing for the album Menace and Prayer
- From Clarity to Insanity
- The Scaffold Scenario
- Cold Bits of Fire
- Bloodstained Prophecy (this one has nice fast guitar parts in it)
- Menace and Prayer
- Opus Void
- Never in a Dream (instrumental track for the Japanese version)
- Towards Glory (bonus track for Japanese version)
A Brief review of the album Menace and Prayer
Okay now let’s get back to Throne of Chaos. So, to begin the second half of the album, the song Synthetia has a great opening 30 seconds with great guitar playing. I would say that since about the year 2000, Finland has really rose to the top in terms of European nations that have a huge number of quality heavy metal bands. But of course, going back to about 1994, the band Amorphis really made their mark on the scene with Tales From the Thousand Lakes with their death metal growls and doom metal like feel. I mentioned how great the skills of Catamenia guitarist Riku Hopeakoski are but the great guitar work in this album continues as we approach the second half of the song Opus Void. The keyboard play to start the song Divanity is a brilliant idea by these guys as it creates a very interesting and unique way to start a song. And then as usual, the speed kicks in and you know it is melodic music. This band is not shy about using speed in their songs and they are able to make it work. Menace and Prayer will get a 92 out of 100 points for its remarkable consistency in the songwriting as well as the great melodic guitar work. Even though these guys broke up, this debut album is their finest work in their history. Kiljunen has more of a raspy vocal style like Jeff Walker of the band Carcass. His vocals are not as understandable as Petri Lindroos of Ensiferum but that does not affect the quality of the songs one bit. From the beginning until almost the end, Menace and Prayer is a solid debut from these Finnish guys.
The great opening song called From Clarity to Insanity
Other Finnish metal bands to consider
Fans of Throne of Chaos will also enjoy more hardcore kind of music such as the extremely heavy Scalping Screen or the heavy thrash band Mokoma who sing entirely in Finnish. You can really expand your taste in music by exploration alone and that’s how I got into bands such as the mentioned Mokoma and Stam1na. The really heavy hardcore thrash band St. Hood is also recommended for fans of Throne of Chaos. Guitar players will especially enjoy this debut album from one of Finland’s most melodic bands.