Full Length, Eternal Warfare
Genre: Doom Metal
spent a little more time with Hell's recent full length it has begun to
grow on me as much as their first record and their split with Thou. In
fact it's easily in the top 20 last year (definitely in the top 5 doom
releases) and would've made it high on said list of mine had I allowed
myself to spend more time with it.
Often on this album
Hell slowly start sounding closer to black metal, especially in the long stretches
of tremolo riffs and drawn out rasps. Still they somehow retain a full on
doom pace, heaviness, atmosphere, etc. without resorting to bland funeral
laziness. Hell still very much have their own sound and it's even more emphasized here. There's quite a bit of successful experimentation with the use of violins and string instruments and varied dramatic vocals in the second track, never forgetting to make it all bleak and crushing.
Overall at least half clean, harmonized, sorrowful builds echoing alone before
drums, bass, vocals or distortion are introduced, which isn't completely
off from their past stuff but still threw me a little. III balances
the frigid quiet with the explosive tremolo wandering and dissonant doom very well, the simple structures and intensity of the rhythms combine with well crafted writing (maybe their best following their split) and come out with an under appreciated smoldering doom gem.
two tracks this time, structured similarly and clocking in at just
under 20 minutes each. Both are honed, very strong pieces of charred
doom that will collapse mountains if played loud enough. "Mourn" takes a
few minutes to climb on clean melancholy before plunging into a very
sick series of tremolo attacks, which lose momentum and collapse into a
moaning abyss of feedback and down-tuned ugliness.
then, right when you think its ended a reconstruction begins to take
place over top the distant howls, leading into the second side of the
tape. "Decedere" opens with another clean reverby passage, the tone a
bit different but entirely groovy; accompanied by violins. This is a
another wonderful slow build as the tone changes again to almost
a silence we start to ascend through mournful chords, before feedback
bleeds in to claim the song. The main riff here is mesmerizing,
feeling slightly crooked in it's depressive gait, made even more so by
the operatic vocals — intensified by a dialed-up pace, altered by
tremolos and powerchords to bring the heaviness to higher level. There's
a switch midway to some serious fuzzed-out doom trudging (by way of Joe
Preston), sampling and noise, a final spiraling push (which has some
serious atmospheric black metal characteristics), before lonesome and clean finale.
All of which will sweep you into the darkness guaranteed.
Hell's III is probably a grower for some, as it was for me strangely.
I should've liked this immediately but I think the inclusion of
operatic vocals put me off instinctively despite enjoying other
elements. It could've just been an illogical bout of low expectations. Anyway if you give it a chance it will flatten you.
This is one to check out for sure. Right
now the cassette version is sold out, but since every previous release
has been pressed on wax I'm assuming this will be too. I would also
assume it's going to be Pesanta Urfolk, Gilead Media, Eternal Warfare, or their label Woodsmoke who will press it so watch those for updates. Or buy and stream it on their bandcamp.