The Illuminati wishes this was their soundtrack
The opening notes of the title track, "Illuminati", off the new God Dethroned feels like a blanket warmed in the fires of Hell. Its familiarity is welcoming and then as the song reaches its chorus, the covering is ripped away as a new element is revealed in the form of clean, choral vocals; a bit of a surprise. The title track kicks off an album that pays homage to their classic era while evolving the band's sound.
The big takeaway from the album in its entirety is the focus on mid-tempo songs that are quick hitters holding to the 3-4 minute mark in an era where songs tend to run around the 6-minute mark or longer on average. GD has always known how to craft a killer song that is stockpiled with riffs and hooks a-plenty and that hasn't changed here in the slightest. They also continue to utilize melody as a supplement to the songs themselves rather than be a focal point, although I suppose it could be argued that one of the things they're renowed for is their use of melody throughout their career.
The more I listened to this album, the more I appreciated the new additions like the afformentioned clean vocals as well as gang-style vocals and ambient keyboards. I'm also glad to see occult lyrics and regional lore mae their way back into the fold. Where I prefer a little more raw sound, the production leans crisp to achieve a more massive sound overall.
Whether you are a fan of their older material, the more recent, or are just looking for some good blackened death, I would definitely recommend picking up 'Illuminati'. Horns up and get ready to "steal a dark soul to serve our cause!"