House of Atreus from Minneapolis, Minnesota, are hard to peg down. Their sound is a melodic blend of death metal, but it incorporates far more than that on The Spear and the Ichor That Follows. I hear a lot of Amon Amarth, some Bolt Thrower, and even some Death, at times. Vocalist Dan Huddleston, also known as Anxietous Nero, lays down some seriously guttural vocals that remind me of Johann Hegg. The album’s topics focus on Greek mythology and history, which lead to some great stories.
“Trenches of Fortune” opens up with a melodic feast for the ears. It showcases a wall of razor-sharp riffs, a killer guitar solo, and the aforementioned vocals that all combine to make a great song. “Messenger of a Shaken Host,” my favorite here, is similar in structure, but it is more melodic in delivery. “Oresteia-The Unforgotten Scorns” is a bit more simple but no less brutal. “Veiled in Dignities of Wrath” and “The River Black” are darker in tone, but they still retain the melody that marks the entire album.
The mix and production on The Spear and the Ichor That Follows are a bit off for me. Everything seems to take a backseat to the vocals, and they are very overpowering. I can forgive this, though, given that it is their first full-length release. I see great things for House of Atreus in the future, but I need to hear them live to see how this all sounds in that setting.
The Spear and the Ichor That Follows is out May 5 on Dark Descent Records. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):