Hades Almighty (formerly Hades) are one of the many Norwegian black metal bands from the second wave of black metal. The thing is, not many people know about them. The thing that introduced me to this band was the movie Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. They did an interview with the guitarist and founder of Hades Almighty, Jorn Tunsberg. Jorn was involved in the many church burnings during the early 90's. Anyways, after watching the movie, I decided to check this band out. This band is pretty much in the same league as other second wave of black metal bands such as Satyricon, Gorgoroth, Immortal, Mayhem, and other bands of that nature. While this band never became as successful as any of those bands, and probably never will, they release some quality black metal.
On their early albums Hades Almighty played viking black metal similar to bands like Enslaved or early Satyricon. With this release they completely change their style to where they sound nothing like they used to. On The Pulse of Decay, the band plays experimental black metal. They mix their usual black metal style with elements of industrial, ambient, and doom metal. The guitarists play a couple different styles. They're either playing the fast black metal tremolo picking, slow doom riffs, or very technical riffs. Not tech death style techincal, but technical enough for a black metal album. The bass is surprisinly audible on this album as well. This is obviously very odd for black metal and to tell you the truth I really dont know how to describe the bass very well because its usually inaudible on most albums I listen to. Drumming on this album is handled by a man named Remi Andersen and his style of drumming also not your typical black metal style. There are almost no blast beats on this album and while they are present, they're not the main style like on most black metal albums. The drumming is pretty fast, but not in the form of blast beats. While the more slow, doomy parts are going the drummer does a great job of keeping the pace of the song. This is album is also kind of melodic. Keyboards are present throughout the album, and while they're not a main focus, you can tell they are there and they keep this album feeling very melodic and not just like another black metal album.
Janto Garmanslund is the vocalist and also the bassist for Hades Almighty, and he actually sounds like a mix of the two Mayhem vocalists, but also has his own style. Sometimes he sounds like Maniac, formerly of Mayhem and sometimes he does the unique style of vocals reminiscent to Attila currently of Mayhem. He almost sounds like an exact clone of Attila at some points, which is a good thing because unlike some people, I think Attila's vocals are amazing. Also sometimes, particularly at the beginning of Vendetta Assassination, Janto does a very weird type of vocals that are best described as sqealing. Now dont think deathcore pig squealing because thats not even close to what these sound like. There's really no way to describe them because they are very unique. Also, he does some really weird laughing a couple times during some of the songs. Very creepy, but very awesome.
Sound effects are another key ingredient to making this album really good. The band uses ambient and industrial samples throughout the album and thats where those influences come from. In the middle of a couple songs the band just throws in some weird sounding ambient parts and its pretty creepy. The industrial samples usually come at the beginning of the songs before they blast off into black metal madness. The ambient and industrial parts here and there just make the album even more unique.
After the album is all said and done, you will most likely be satisfied. The only problem is that it can get a little bit repetitive and some of the riffs start to sound the same towards the end. Other than that though this album is a hidden gem in the black metal scene. Hades Almighty definitely holds their ground and they should be heard. They're right up there with bands early Norwegian black metal bands such as Gorgoroth and Immortal. Most people just havent heard of them yet. Well this is your chance. Buy this album and also their early viking black metal albums for some quality Norwegian black metal that is sadly unheard by a lot of people.