House Of Atreus - Official Website

The Spear And The Ichor That Follows

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Trenches Of Fortune
3. Throne Of Chariots
4. Oresteia. The Unforgotten Scorns
5. Heir To The Crown Of Sodom
6. Beasts Of Antiquity
7. Veiled In Dignities Of Wrath
8. The River Black

Review by Nathan on January 8, 2024.

Have you ever been listening to Arghoslent and thought to yourself "damn, these guys have some pretty sick riffs but the not-so-subtle racism kind of makes me uncomfortable?" Well have I got the band for you! The only thing that makes you immediately uncomfortable about House Of Atreus is how much they actually do sound like Arghoslent, so much that you get suspicious and start to look for references to slave flogging in the lyrics (that's normal, right?). Fear not, though. The lyrics here appear to be much more straightforward interpretations of Greek myths and war and whatnot, and there doesn't appear to be a lot of irrational anger being thrown around on The Spear And The Ichor That Follows. Incorrigible Bigotry shares a lot in common with this album right of the bat, though, and that can't be ignored, especially not in a review. The vocalist has the same sort of tone and while not quite as ranty as Arghoslent's old vocalist, still has an unhinged, rambling quality to him that comes out every now and then. Where this most closely parallels those dirty backwater racists from Virginia, though, is in the riffs and how they're delivered.

Holy shit, The Spear And The Ichor That Follows has some fucking sweet riffs. Not just one riff per song, not just that one at the beginning or end, ALL of the riffs present on this album are solid at their worst and straight bangerz at best. The reason these guys have a very high consistency in riff quality? That can be traced back to the fact that they're pretty liberal in which subgenres of heavy metal they borrow from to create riffs. Arghoslent got by for a very similar reason--since the initial foundation of death metal is supplemented with a thrashy energy and some ear-pleasing 80's classic metal leads, these guys can just craft riff slideshows that flow seamlessly. You could call this melodic death metal, but this doesn't sound anything like modern melodeath--it's more in line with the original formula of "death metal + Iron Maiden influence" that created melodeath over anything. The songs never sound incomplete or incoherent even if they just throw a bunch of riffs together and call it a song. Most of the time, all that really matters is that the riffs next to each other sound smooth enough and the rest of the song will write itself, because every riff is just dope as shit. I can't even put my finger on what makes them so good, even with the consideration of the masterful crossbreeding of heavy metal subgenres. They just have this quality of being quite detailed and catchy (with HEAPS of random little solos and lots of prominent melody) yet they still have a definable groove and you still get that feeling in your gut when you hear something metal as fuck.

There's perhaps one little difference that sets House of Atreus apart from their racist dopplegangers: the black metal influence. Arghoslent had a black metal tinge to their sound in faint traces, no doubt, but it seemed more like an unintentional influence than anything--for example, something like "The Purging Fires of War" sounds like it could have fit on a primarily black metal album, but its sound like they arrived at the riffs for that song by playing around with traditional metal stuff as opposed to trimming it straight from black metal. House of Atreus, on the other hand, have no qualms with making some of their riffs sound like straight-up triumphant black metal, and the final track ("The River Black") is a wonderful curveball closer that puts the black metal influence on full display. That song would be noteworthy for that reason alone, but it also utilizes a much more slow-building and (for lack of a better term) "epic" feel with its songwriting. Instead of writing a bunch of sick riffs, they only have a few in that song, but they hammer them into your brain real good. They created a galloping, melodic black metal track that doesn't lose any of the intensity the rest of the music had, and "The River Black" is hands-down my favorite track on the album as such. When these guys sit down and actually try and write a focused song instead of just jamming tracks full of riffs, the results are even better. House of Atreus, simply put, know what Arghoslent is doing better than Arghoslent themselves do.

That's probably the most hilarious thing about The Spear And The Ichor That Follows, though. This album ran the huge risk of being labeled a shameless rip-off of Arghoslent, but since they do everything Arghoslent did even better and with less racism they effectively just made Arghoslent's music obsolete. Why should you bother getting Incorrigible Bigotry when you can get the same thing from a group of guys with more black metal in their riffs and more meat in the production? It's fucking great. Before, this style of melodeathy thrash was kind of hard to enjoy despite its originality because it got lumped in with racist ideologies, but now there's no excuse not to like it. This is one of the top 10 albums of 2015 right here, and a fine example of the student surpassing the teacher with absolute ease.

Rating: 9 out of 10