[Metal] Exalt The Throne – Long Live The King (80%)

After months of waiting, I finally got my hand on Exalt The Throne first full-release “Long Live The King”. Exalt the Throne (Dallas/Fort Worth-TX) was one of the biggest surprise as a opening band for Epica during their concert in Dallas at the beginning of the year.
It was a last-minute change in the line-up and completely unexpected, so you can imagine the surprise to see a band opening for Epica and have absolutely no clue who they are and what style of metal you will listen to.
Well you would expect something symphonic since it is opening for Epica right? Wrong. It was even better than that. It was a blend of melodic death (with some great guitar riffs of Charles Benson, also a member of Astyanax) with the clean mezzo-soprano female voice of Courtney. That was a blast, despite audio technical difficulties.
After months in waiting, they finally released their first album, a 9-track album named “Long Live The King”. Of course, gave my commute test to it. Result? A fairly good start for a first-time release. I liked it.
It is heavy, sometimes fast-paced (like you would expect from any death metal band), sometimes harbor very nice solo melodic guitar riffs from Charles. So at first, you would take it as a death metal. Then comes Courtney with her clean mezzo voice and bang, your brain is entering a conundrum state, sometimes conflicting but I find it really interesting. You get lost between in a complex decision-making between jumping into the mosh or standing listening to Courtney.
Why? Because you have a nice blending of the bold and the beautiful.
The album is overall good, I did not have any particular track that for me stood up. But that’s not bad, it means the album is not conceived around two-three songs and then molded with some filler.
The engineering is very raw, no synths and no the fluffiness you would expect from any Dutch symphonic metal album. The mixing has been done fairly well, considering the band likely worked on a tight budget.
Now after listening to the album, I am in need to see them live. The problem? The ride to Dallas, that’s a good 5-hour ride. Hopefully they will have a date with a decent line-up in a weekend to bait me for a ride down to the DFW.
Long Live The King!

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