House Of Atreus - Official Website


Orations

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Orations / Reascension Of Mastery
2. Thy Wounded Sovereignty
3. Under An Accursed Dynasty
4. Morphos Of Degeneration
5. Cathedral Of Ancestry
6. Riding The Storm (Running Wild Cover)


Review by Fernando on January 8, 2024.

Melodic death metal has always been a fairly consistent style in death metal, aside from the great Swedish and Finnish bands that popularized the style. The underground has also had a steady number of bands that took influence from a particularly infamous US band, which the less said about it, the better, especially after releasing one of the worst albums of 2023, and arguably the decade. But I digress, as today we’re talking about House Of Atreus and their newest EP Orations.

House Of Atreus from Minnesota are of course a melodic death metal band, or ‘imperial death metal’ as they call it, and they fit both descriptions pretty well. Their music is as aggressive and heavy as it is epic and melodic. The band do an excellent job of keeping the brutality of death metal while adding some classic heavy metal melodicism from the likes of Iron Maiden and Running Wild (the latter who will become more relevant shortly), as well as being heavily influenced by Hellenic black metal. And on this new EP, the band certainly waste no time proving all those qualities, the first two songs absolutely crush and eviscerate with speed and power, with some excellent shredding and pitch harmonics, however, the true strength of this EP and where I think House Of Atreus truly excel as their own entity and not as copyists or a worship band as some people might label them as, is when they slow down, as shown by how the third song ‘Under An Accursed Dynasty’ display. But make no mistake, the band at no point lets up their brutality and after some tasteful build-up the keep shredding and crushing.

It is on the second half that HOA truly shines beyond the immediate riff-n-shred bonanza of the first two tracks, as they have an excellent sense of dynamics and none of the songs have wasted sections. The faster and more intense parts don’t feel rushed, nor do the slower parts feel overlong, and vice versa. The band knows exactly how and when should a riff, melody, bridge and breakdown last and end, and they do this consistently throughout the EP, meaning that the songs are never boring nor are they monotonous or one dimensional. Of course this isn’t just a case of good songwriting, but also top-notch performances, as a unit the band is tight and refined, which is impressive considering this is the first release as a quartet since their previous album.

All the instruments in unison are essential parts, the leads and rhythm guitars in particular have an excellent interplay combining soloing and riffs that sound impressive and neither overshadows the other, nor do they slack. And the rhythm section is also excellent and works as an excellent foundation and foil to the guitars. The band’s founder, bassist and vocalist Anxietous Nero still surprises with his forceful and intense bass as well as his howling death growls, and on this record he also shines with more variation in his singing, particularly on the closing track, a cover of Running Wild’s classic ‘Riding the Storm’. However, drummer Orge Thumos’ skill on the kit cannot be understated, if you’re a drummer, or a fan of good drums, this mini-album will have you salivating.

Overall, the almost 6 years of quiet from the band paid off in dividends. If they’re able to bring this kind of intensity and consistency for an EP I personally cannot wait what they will do next, because this release, despite being a mini-album is a satisfying experience from front to back with zero filler. My only complaint is that I was left wanting more, but I really can’t complain with what was offered, so there’s that.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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