(Hells Headbangers Records)
HAVOHEJ returns with the second full length 16 years after the well-known debut "Dethrone The Son Of God". Well I never liked that record and didn't check any following album until this one "Kembatinan Premaster". The pictures I checked of mastermind Paul Ledney, as a preparation for this review predicted something evil and wicked beyond recognition! Some would call it madness and the extremity does go even beyond the Northern Black Metal anti-christianity, but to me it's conviction and commanded respect. Total dedication to an obscure form of art and seeking the boundaries of its expression. I'm not deep into this rebellic edge of Black Metal so the only comparable and convincing acts at this level of appearance I can name are SADISTIK EXEKUTION, PROFANATICA, old MAYHEM and probably GORGOROTH. Hungry for a trip that would finally shock my soul, the music entered my mind hoping for something haunting like AGHAST, sick like ABRUPTUM or powerful like THORNS. Well, I ask myself whether the emotions I got while listening to "Kembatinan Premaster" are the ones I'm supposed to feel. The machinal and minimal compositions bring an apocalytic, nihil and desolate atmosphere. Not do I feel disturbance, evilness or agression against the principles my community tries to teach me (civilisation; not religion!). Sure, the harsh Black Metal vocals still spit their disgust on anything holy but they don't convince enough to invocate evil. Actually it's sort of beautiful in its darkness! Just listen to 'Bloud And Souls' and especially the brilliant 'Bloud Of The World'. The soundwaves are something that will grip your attention like a soundtrack from a movie, due to the absent of any conventional guitars. So after listening for the fifth time to these 8 tracks I feel a bit mislead. Is this the evolution? Well, the difference between "Dethrone The Son Of God" and "Kembatinan Premaster" is significant. Repetition was one of my keywords to describe the debut and still the compositions march by in similar tempos. Main difference is the constant industrial noise that backs the rhythm-section and vocals. Gone are the old INCANTATION / PROFANTICA styled arrangements although some parts come close, like in 'Hatefull Unto God' which is an exact copy of 'Pious Breath' and 'Kembatinan Premaster'! In the end I moved back and forth through tracks to find out which part matched in what song. Maybe arranged as some sort of beginning and ending of this trip? I dont' know. What I do know is, that it's an enjoyable trip, but not the rollercoaster I expected. Still a dark record and you'd check www.myspace.com/havohejofficial or www.hellsheadbangers.com to decide for yourself.
- HAVOHEJ - Dethrone The Son Of God - by Wes Rhodes