Why is it that album titles which signify a sense of direction never seem to go anywhere? OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating for comic purposes; Enthroned may be a bit long in the tooth, but they generally tend to produce the goods, providing theirs are the goods you're looking for. I for one am not the sort to turn down well executed black metal, however rote and "current" it may seem. Praise be to Cernunnos(sp?), apparently the drummer, though his picture neglects to mention his role in the band (still, when three out of four bases have been covered there's lots of room for lucky guesses). His pummeling precision beats are definitely the driving force behind "Skullthrone"'s success. There's nothing particularly unsatisfactory about the guitars and vocals, but I've heard albums with equal instrumental achievement falter and ultimately fail due to faulty percussion production (say that fast three times).
While Enthroned may not be the pioneers Death Records needs to forge ahead as a label, they serve as a good anchor until such an acquisition can be made. Their co-production credit proves they're not lacking in direction nor the means to fulfill their drive. Right now that direction seems to be heading along the lines of Emperor, and with a little more woodshedding there's no reason Enthroned can't attain the same lofty heights from which the Norwegian demigods spit venom on the world below. In the meantime there's nothing amateur about the band's current incarnation, making Towards The Skullthrone of Satan a commendable purchase for black metal traditionalists.