1349 Hellfire

1349 Hellfire
Though black metal is well past its glory days, once in a while a band comes along who are actually capable of surveying atypical arrangements in a genre saturated by Mayhem wannabes and Dark Funeral hackery: 1349 are one of those bands. The menacing speed and aural cruelty with which this record proceeds is akin to Darkthrone’s penchant for sonic terror while the more bombastic moments are reminiscent of Emperor, albeit barely. They layer a clever understanding of tech-expertise into many traditional elements, including the omnipresent tremolo madness and the seemingly endless blast beats. Lucky for listeners, Frost of Satyricon is the man (or demon?) pounding at the skins. His aptitude for creativity as well as his knowledgeable command of rhythm makes for a relatively riveting take on what could very well have been another drumming drab. In addition to setting the musical bar significantly higher, the production itself is recording wonder compared to most subscribing to this genre. All the layers translate independently but in concert without turning into the awful deafening mash that has characterised the basement recordings of corpse paint enthusiasts since the beginning. Hellfire being their third full-length, 1349 still have the potential to restore the weary’s faith in the future of black metal. (Candlelight USA)