Here we have it. After 18 years and eight albums, Dutch death metallers God Dethroned have managed to piece together their masterwork. Starting out life as a death metal band with melodic intent and recently adding progressive elements to their sound, God Dethroned have finally assimilated both approaches into one coherent, fetching whole. While in and of itself it may not be surprising that the unit has been able to combine the elements, it is eye-brow raising that they were able to do so within the framework of a concept record. Passiondale reflects upon the carnage of the WWI bloodbath at Passchendaele, Belgium, vocalist Henri’s vocals pleasingly discernible, yet vicious, allowing the listener to follow the story at hand. Most of the album flies by at extreme speeds, the blastbeated fury in tune with the bloody tales of carnage. Every once in a while the band ease up on the throttle, coming across like Tales From The Thousand Lakes-era Amorphis crossed with Bolt Thrower. They also throw in the odd keyboard and clean vocals referring to their recent attempts at adding prog elements to their sound. Here’s to the lads for sticking to it and coming up with something so exceptional so late in their careers.