Monday, February 18, 2019 03:05

Posts Tagged ‘Hammer of Hate’


Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Nattfog - Mustan Auringon RiittiAlthough Nattfog’s debut full-length is more than six years old, it’s only in the past six months that ‘Mustan Auringon Riitti’ emerged on black wax. Finally, I managed to hunt down a copy.

Forty-three minutes long and comprising four actual songs / odes / elegies – two in English and two in Finnish (I’m hazarding an uneducated guess) – dovetailing majestically with three valiant, mournful instrumentals, this delightful album is a masterclass in mid-paced, emotional, ancient, heathen Black Metal; spiritual, patriotic and proud.

Deeply proud of the old times, the old ways, the old ones. Strange how these wistful, sentimental lamentations can be so uplifting. Superb.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, April 18th, 2013

As I enjoy a lot of the output released by Hammer of Hate, I thought ‘Iänkaikkinen, Pysyvä, Muuttumaton Pimeys’ would represent a safe enough gamble. I was wrong. When I listen to this (mercifully-short) album, I’m torn between laughing hysterically and throwing up. I’ll cut to the chase: this is total rubbish.

Arsonist Lodge are one of those ‘Black Metal’ (haha) bands that insist on including horrid spoken-word parts, harmonious interchanges, clean vocals and all that sort of nonsense. So melodious and sweet that it is offensive.

There is possibly some genuine Black Metal to be found among the debris (hard to tell, my senses are reeling) but the camp, Eurovision-esque nature of the above-mentioned panderings to feminine (or homosexual?) sensibilities render this album a veritable shitefest. Suffice to say, Arsonist Lodge are not on fire – perhaps someone should rectify this.

Evilometer: 000/666


Saturday, November 17th, 2012

I’ve postponed writing this review on a number of occasions due to a mixture of uncertainty, laziness and downright indecision. It’s a bitch when you’re not sure what you think of an album! Is ‘II – Exalted Spectres’ just another run-of-the-mill Black Metal LP or is it a solid example of how Black Metal can – and should – be performed? Not sure – it seems to be falling between two stools.

On one hand, I’m thinking there’s nothing special going on here. Then again, I wonder what the fuck was I expecting? At the end of the day, I love Black Metal and Sacrilegious Impalement perform it with gusto. And the reason why this site exists is to promote the style of music I enjoy. So I’m giving SI the benefit of the doubt. There is a lot of shit masquerading as Black Metal and these Finns do not deserve to be placed anywhere near that category.

This is by no means a great release bit it is nonetheless a very good one and the long-awaited vinyl version is definitely worth having (nice record; lovely cover; full 12″ x 12″ lyric sheet included). If you enjoy aggressive yet polished Black Metal, then you can’t go wrong here. ‘II – Exalted Spectres’ is a fine full-length but don’t be expecting an exceptional one.

Evilometer: 444/666


Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Every now and then an album comes along that is just undeniably brilliant. An album that is so easy to recommend that the task of writing reviews appears almost redundant (and actually becomes quite difficult…). I honestly can’t see how any Black Metal advocate could fail to appreciate Nattfog’s sublime debut full-length, ‘Mustan Auringon Riitti’. Surely this one is going to be universally hailed as a masterpiece of occult Finnish decadence?

Finland is on fire right now when it comes to dark musical output. I’d go so far as to assert that the Finnish scene is leading the way worldwide – except, of course, ‘scenes’ don’t really exist, per se. Nattfog executes excellent early-nineties style Scandinavian / Slavonic BM with a sort of pagan / heathen vibe but this is strictly Black Metal as opposed to Pagan Metal. The songs are both raw and melodic; production is nice and thin, unobtrusive, allowing the spells to come through naturally, like we are listening to a horde of hermits performing some Shamanic ritual live in the woods.

Everything about ‘Mustan Auringon Riitti’ sounds and feels ridiculously natural, which in turn lends an ancient air to the album. The ambience and texture are stunning. You know, at the end of the day, this is essentially just standard Black Metal that’s been done thousands of times before … yet … somehow it captures something extra. A magical, indefinable x factor that elevates the album and the band above most of their contemporaries and renders them exceptional.

The entire album kills but eerie instrumentals ‘Kosmisen Usvan Ympäröimänä’ and ‘Kaksitoista Askelta Luvattuun Valtakuntaan’ are particularly special. It’s like what Burzum might sound like if Burzum didn’t suck.  I have no problem in recommending this even if I’m having difficulty pinpointing what exactly it is that makes Nattfog’s debut so great. Ultimately, it’s probably simple: I love Black Metal and Nattfog effortlessly churns out no-frills Black Metal with tremendous reserves of passion and emotion. Which I love. Obviously.

Evilometer: 666/666