Sermons Of The Black Flame
(Folter Records)

I’ve been aware of HALPHAS for a while, mainly because of the logo design and the artwork associated with the band. I love it when a band is the whole package, between imagery, overall look and sound. So, all cards on the table, this is my first active foray with their music. Much like the art and band photo, the music is of the evil variety with some moderate Pagan undertones. Listening to them I get much of later day BEHEXEN and BAPTISM and also HORNA as well. This may be the issue for me here too in the long run, but we will get to that later. First let us get to the music. Fairly mid-paced Black Metal with slight Pagan sounding moments, be it the vocalist Berith has that deep gruff-like growl, but with some moments of operatic shouting incorporated and some very slight (not Metalcore) clean singing sprinkled throughout the songs. Slight soundscapes and musical flourishes which again bring that HORNA sound to mind. It all starts off imposing enough, with the obligatory intro then track # 2, ‘The Draconian Path’, kicks in and you can feel the darkness exuding from the song. Even the beginning of ‘Disciples Of Dark Gods’ starts great, but just doesn’t kick you in the face. At 8 songs and a tad under 45 minutes, it’s not a long album by any means, but the songs tend to meander a bit. I get moments here and there that spark my interest, even nodding my head in approval. So, back to my initial sticking point, I keep drawing those comparisons as the album progresses. Also, it doesn’t help that maybe there is a bit too much similarity in the songs? I don’t want to come across as a big downer, because it is a good listen, but will I come back to it though? Band info follows, give them a listen. www.facebook.com/halphasofficial, www.facebook.com/folterrecordsgermany

Will “Bones” Lee

Will "Bones" Lee

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