Throneless – Cycles (2018) REVIEW

The 2015 debut from Malmö, Sweden doom-sludgers Throneless coughed out droning frustrations incubated across years of existential dread channeling the sonic rapture of post-Electric Wizard stoner doom with a rough-hewn noisome self-production. The nuclear sustain of early Monolord and genuine thread of nihilism might have been clobbered by an unmanageable mix, but not so severely that the impact of ‘Throneless’ was lost. Equally massive and intentioned in 2018, Throneless presents a small bit of growth beyond their debut, most notably the vocalist emerges from the murk despite positioning his shouts from a dark hallway beyond.

Johan Sundén‘s vocal efforts pull the band’s sound a step away from the constant Conan and Slomatics comparisons that you’ll see in basically every published review of their stuff; The unfortunate reality is that easiest route for those blind and deaf to nuance is often the loudest messaging. His contributions provide moments that resemble the Sleep influenced psychedelic despair of Windhand and Monolord when they pop up. ‘Cycles’ does a great job of retaining their mission statement and influences and I feel like the experience is held together by a fiercely independent ethos that, for better or worse, gives the record a pleasantly roughened earnestness.

The most evident quality of ‘Cycles’ self-production is it’s distant vocal murk and speaker blowing bass artifacts that contribute to it’s amateurish charm and relative extremity. With four songs in exactly 40 minutes Throneless succeed as often as they fail at creating differentiating factors between tracks only the title track really offers it’s own unique feeling and vocal timbre beyond the distant stoned terror of the others. “Cycles” is a monumental study in a build-and-release moment and the apex is a stirring ‘World Coming Down’-era Type O Negative flattener, equally ethereal as it is howling in pain. Here the restlessly existential spirit of Throneless shakes loose and I’d say this is what I’d want more of in the future as it truly differentiates them but only appears in rare bursts on both full-lengths.

Perhaps Throneless‘ second album won’t change your life and you might never hear about it without induction by fandom of albums with a similar approach to composition and sub-genre but I found decent value in sharing in it’s frustration and perceived stoned misery. Rumbling dissociative stoner/doom metal should worm it’s way onto life’s playlist at one point, or another’s constant, and I’d recommend giving Throneless a shot at that spot because they fill it well. My favorite part of the record is the combo of “Cycles” and “Senseless” and I’d suggest that pair when previewing the album.


Artist Throneless
Type Album
Released March 23, 2018
Follow Throneless on Facebook
Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal

Uncrown all kings. 3.5/5.0

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