Amidst seas of mindless music fans shunning black metal as a genre of satanic noise and worthless musicianship, 1349 comes to remedy the ailment of the people. Liberation
and Beyond the Apocalypse
were lessons in the art of true, necro black metal, but Hellfire
is a volatile concoction poised to put them all to shame. With 1349ís newest released to the inhabitants, black metal has again been taken to the next level. Dark atmospheres are prevalent throughout the album while unique melodies intertwine with bizarre vocals. One can only wonder where in hell music such as this may have spawned. I myself was surprised at how much 1349 has grown musically, and Hellfire
is living proof of that.
This album flourishes with a newfound style that 1349 did not utilize on their past two albums. While Liberation
and Beyond the Apocalypse
seemed to bear a wall of noise with every song sounding similar, Hellfire
has improved greatly. Each song has unique traits that make it stand out from the others. Songs have a display of styles ranging from the epic title track Hellfire
to the aggressive Sculptor of Flesh
. This album is eight completely different songs, something that many black metal bands fall victim to. The atmosphere featured on this album is outstanding, partly thanks to the vocals of Ravn. His scream is unlike any Iíve ever heard in black metal. Instead of a high shriek, Ravn sounds partway between traditional black metal screams and forceful thrash shouting. It is quite peculiar and is in no way forgettable. The production is also a valuable asset, aiding in the dark sound of the album. The raw, abrasive, necro sound has a very bleak and somber feel without sounding as though it was recorded on an answering machine in a Norse forest. Instances such as the intro of From the Deeps
sounds very grave, yet harmonious.
Frost is an important influence in the band, and not just for his drumming. Much of Hellfire
sounds like old Satyricon. The melodic and atmospheric sound of the tremolo picking riffs of Nathicana
are strongly reminiscent of Nemesis Devina
, something all black metal fans can appreciate. I Am Abomination
sounds as though Satyricon and the past works of 1349 were combined into an impulsive mixture, and the end product is delicious. The sounds all come together in a well-played record, with instrumental work that tops most black metal bands. From the Deeps
features and addictive guitar solo thirty seconds into the song. The aforementioned title track Hellfire
is an epic black metal composition worthy of praise for its shadowy melodies and solemn atmosphere and manages to stay completely entrancing for the entire 13:49 duration.
is a release that will excel in its own ground for some time. I have yet to hear a black metal band that executed such a memorable combination of melodic and atmospheric metal. Fans of black metal will love this, and fans of metal in general will have nothing but respect for such a record.
From the Deeps
- Excellent atmosphere
- Melodic and heavy sounds combined perfectly
- Commendable musicianship
- Great variation among songs
- Production may be a turnoff to some
- I predict much negativity over Ravnís voice