What would you get if you mixed sludge metal, doom metal, thrash, death metal and grunge (yes, grunge) in a heavy iron cauldron? You would get an album called Dead Throne Monarch with a side of Rhino. Yes, I know that is an over-used opening style, but when you hear this music you will understand. It threatens to defy the very idea of being stuck in any one genre. This is infectious, groove-filled, heavy music that is not unlike getting hit repeatedly with a brick and liking it!
Every so often you will come across a band that quite unexpectedly delivers everything you did not know you were looking for at that very moment. The last time this happened for me was back in the Fall of 2007 when I first encountered the French act Gojira. It was a live show and as soon as they began my jaw dropped. Heavy, intense, and just, well, heavy! When I first hit play on the opening title track, Rhino induced a similar reaction.
The first sound you hear sounds like vocalist Javier Galvez is removing his vocal cords through sheer will. It is enough to give you momentary pause, but before it sinks in the guitars hit with this heavy sludgy riff that reinforces the vocal cord vomitous that the track began with. "Dead Throne Monarch" proceeds to run roughshod through the musical gamut from sludge to thrash to grunge, thus keeping you off guard as to what to expect.
The title sludger is followed by "Reins of the Warlord," a track that retains the Rhino sound demonstrated in the prior track, while being a bit more of an uptempo thrasher. That is followed by the epic "Earth Reclaims the Usurper." This one is decidedly more along the doom/sludge line, and again retains that distinctive Rhino-ness that permeated the first couple of tracks.