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Dethrone the Son of God (1993)

Havohej is an American black / death metal band formed by Paul Ledney, basically picking up from where Profanatica left off. Upon first discovering them, I was a bit turned off. Satanic and anti-Christian themes are fine in opposing the Great Lie, but some bands seem to go a little too far. Their lyrics show almost too much knowledge of this fictional nonsense. As well, in this case, the band name was just very unimpressive as was the fact that the band hailed from the states. Thankfully, I ended up giving them a chance and discovering just what an evil record Dethrone the Son of God is.

Released in 1993, this album seems to show a bit of influence from the Scandinavian black metal scene. This is particularly evident with the production, which is quite a but thinner and more raw than on the Profanatica releases. Speaking of which, one would not be wrong to consider this the true first full-length from that band, seeing as how it is a direct continuation of the work begun on Putrescence of... and Weeping in Heaven. Not only are several Profanatica songs re-recorded here, but the overall style of the music is precisely the same.

On Dethrone the Son of God, there seems to be an added emphasis on the fast tempos, though the album is not without the gloomy mid-paced sections as well. "Once Removed Savior" is a prime example of the latter, which is about as morose of a track as Paul Ledney ever created. His raspy vocals and evil lyrics really help the sinister atmosphere and set this apart from the other bands in the American underground at the time. Musically, much of this could be taken as death metal, with the vocals and overall vibe being the main thing to distinguish it from the likes of Incantation. One of the only complaints about this album, though, is its extreme brevity. So many of the songs struggle to even get past the one or two-minute mark. The songwriting is strong enough, just not as fully developed as it could have been. A song like "The King of the Jews", for example, is barely over a minute and a half and the main guitar melody is very good, just rather incomplete. The same can be said of "Behold the Prince of Peace", though at least it possesses vocals.

Dethrone the Son of God is a solid, if incomplete, album of black / death metal. It's too bad that this release by Havohej was the final legacy of Profanatica for quite some time, and that Ledney didn't manage to continue being as prolific as he once once, immediately following this release. his projects definitely had a lot of potential, and the recordings that do exist are certainly worth hearing, but it seemed as if he could have done so much more. If you haven't yet listened to this, ignore the stupid band name and give it a chance.
(24 Apr. 2014)

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