Deathchant - Thrones
Deathchant - Thrones
“This is definitely the most honest and mature record Deathchant has ever made.”
That’s Deathchant vocalist and guitarist T.J. Lemieux talking about the band’s third and latest album, Thrones. Think of it as not just the follow-up to 2021’s Waste, but the other side of the coin. “While Waste and our self-titled album touched on similar themes, they were sort of from a problem standpoint,” he explains. “Thrones is full of reflection, self-realization, and solutions for moving forward and conquering those problems.”
Which isn’t to say that Deathchant have gone soft. Far from it, dude. In fact, Thrones just might be their heaviest record thus far. The band’s seamless swirl of classic rock guitar harmonies, syrupy sludge, blues boogie and psych bombast has reached a thrilling new apex as Lemieux spins high-powered tales of reckoning from beyond the wall of sanity.
Thematically, Lemieux and his bandmates—bassist George Camacho, guitarist Doug Stuckey and drummer Joe Herzog—peel back the veneer of self-delusion to expose the fork in the road. “Thrones is meant to represent things that rule you, things you worship, things you rely on or think you need,” Lemieux says. “Sometimes those things make you feel in control, safe, on top of the world like you’re in power—which over time often proves untrue.”
Witness lead single “Mirror”: Kicking off with gleaming Lizzy-isms, the song rumbles into a thick groove overlaid with lysergic fireworks that conjure the shaggy European movers of decades past. “‘Mirror’ is the key to the whole Thrones theme,” Lemieux explains. “It’s about looking inward to realize what’s ruling you, what’s consuming you, and how delusional you’ve been about those things. Your sense of self is so damn important, and fully facing your truths is not an easy thing to do. It’s admitting that you’ve intentionally dulled and quieted your mind to distract, avoid and run from yourself, from memory, from loss and truth. At some point, you have to face that shit.”
The languid and dreamy “Mother Mary” is also crucial to Thrones’ trajectory. “If the album was a book, ‘Mirror’ would be the first chapter and ‘Mother Mary’ would be the last chapter, though they’re not the first and last track for sonic reasons,” Lemieux explains. “‘Mirror’ is saying, ‘I’m looking inward because some things need to change,’ while ‘Mother Mary’ is saying, ‘Okay, things are fucked and have gone way too far but now we have this understanding—and acknowledging things is key to overcoming.’”
Thrones was recorded live in a cabin in the remote mountain community of Frazier Park, CA, with trusty engineer Steve Schroeder (a.k.a. Schroeds). “We moved in for a week, rehearsed a bit and went for it,” Lemieux says. “Each tune got three or so takes, but we nailed ‘Mother Mary’ and ‘Canyon’ right away.” Overdubs were done at the cabin, Schroeder’s Studio 3, and Lemieux’s place. The album was produced by Lemieux and Schroeder.
“Overall, it’s a pretty dark record,” Lemieux says. “It’s serious and leans into heavy themes, sometimes using metaphor and imagery to soften those blows, but sometimes it hits direct. It’s positive, though—and cathartic. Forever riding on the line of total insanity and flirting with mental degradation. It’s our most realized and ambitious record to date.”