Vice, Suffering And Destruction (Underground Terrorism)
HAEMOTH is a two piece coming from the Greater Paris area dedicated to misanthropic and bleak Black Metal. That said, don't think they indulge themselves in clichés and rehashed ideas. In fact the band appears very original even if they use the easily recognizable elements typical of the Black Metal genre (thankfully). What separates HAEMOTH from the bulk of their competitors is their ability to craft and perform captivating and very elaborate pieces of music. The most surprising and fresh element to find here is certainly the drums patterns favoured, which could seduce even regular Heavy Metal fans. Indeed drummer Syht plays his instrument with feeling and soul, in a very natural and, dare I say, relaxed (yet powerful) manner. Of course one can hear furious rhythms accelerations from time to time, like a reminder this is an extreme Black Metal release after all, but most of the time this record stays on a crushing mid tempo mode. The overall atmosphere on this disc is darker than black, I used the term misanthropic on purpose in the beginning of this review, because misanthropy and hate are the core of the conceptual universe of HAEMOTH. Macabre arpeggios, eerie sound effects, demented vocals could only give high class Black Metal in the end. The song structures were obviously carefully thought about, you can speak of a real work of art here. The overall sound comes out extremely powerful for this kind of release, with a remarkable clarity and a high dynamic. This is by no means the kind of record you can get instant access in; you will have to take your time discovering every aspects of it, that guarantying its longevity in your record collection. But compared to the over hyped WATAIN, I think HAEMOTH, while evolving in more or less the same musical area, come up with a slightly superior brand of Black Metal. This is a record I recommend without any afterthought, a real surprise coming from my country, and the proof that the French Black Metal scene is healthier than ever and can compete with the Scandinavian one with pride! Brilliant and intelligent stuff by clever artists. Note there is a cover of GORGOROTH to find here as a bonus. Info: www.haemoth.fr.st; www.info-black.com.