Monday, May 22, 2006

Unleash The Hellig Usvart Horde!

Horde opened the doors for Christian Extreme Metal. This one man
project by none other than Ex-Mortification and Paramaecium drummer
Jayson Sherlocke, a.k.a. Anonymous (which is believed to be a word play
on the Mayhem band member Euronymous, who was murdered by his friend &
bandmate. Think about that.) Inverted the flourishing Black metal scene
with the release of "Hellig Usvart" on Nuclear Blast records. Disguised as a
Norwegian black metal musician, Jayson blasted into the scene with a
sickenly brutal and raw black metal album to rave reviews.... oh except
for the whole anti-satan Christian lyrics ... but musically it was well
received. I love reading reviews of this album on metal sites. It's
always the same "Do not be fooled! This is a Christian band! oh sure
the music is good, but he sings about God! Do not buy this anti-satan
crap!" I'm paraphrasing, but it's absolutely hilarious. I mean how could you not tell something was different with song titles like "Invert the Inverted
Cross" and "Weak, Feeble, Dying Anti-Christ". Heck "Hellig Usvart" is
Norwegian for Holy Unblack which originated the genre Unblack Metal.
Nuclear Blast records (Mark Staiger) and that "Anonymous" guy received numerous
death threats and sternly written letters, which lead to Steve Rowe
(Mortification) buying the rights and remaining albums to distribute
through Rowe Productions.

"Hellig Usvart" begins with the appropriately named track "A Church
Bell Tolls Amidst the Frozen Nordic Winds" which is a Church bell
tolling amidst a chilly wind sound. Normally I don't like these ambient
tracks, but this certainly sets the mood for the album. As the breeze
fades out we are blasted by the disgustingly fast 50 second song
"Blasphemous Abomination of The Satanic Pentagram". This is raw and
brutal music which is not for everyone. I love it! Most songs are fast
with slower bits or bridges like "Behold, The Rising of The Scarlet
Moon" and "An Abandoned Grave Bathes Softly In The Falling Moonlight".

"Thine Hour Has Come", "Invert The Inverted Cross" and "Weak, Feeble,
Dying Anti-Christ" all have more mid paced black metal riffs. Stand-out
tracks are "Silence The Blasphemous Chanting" which has a nice acoustic
outro, "Release and Clothe The Virgin Sacrifice" has a great dark
guitar riff amidst the blistering chaos of the song. I prefer the more
gruff death metal vocals featured on songs "Silence The Blasphemous
Chanting", "Crush The Bloodied Horns Of The Goat" and "Release and
Clothe the Virgin Sacrifice" as opposed to the screeching vocals, but
not enough to really mention it here. Ooops. Anywho, I think my
favourite track would be the bonus song on the 10th Anniversary
re-release "My Heart Doth Beseech Thee (O Master)". This is an insanely
fast song and pure raw black metal. It also features the only guitar
solo on the album. Mind you it's rough and not necessarily good, but
it's fast and a solo all the same. And "My Heart ..." also features
cowbell percussion and in my opinion you can't have too much cowbell.

This album may be nothing new in the Black metal genre musically
speaking, but Jayson paved the way for Christian Black Metal and in my
opinion humbled the pretentious "We're so evil" black metal scene.
"Hellig Usvart" may not be an outstanding piece of work (the drum work is insane though, incredible!)but the albums influence is seen in such Christian Acts as Antestor, Crimson Moonlight
and Dark Endless to name just a few.

I have tons more Christian metal to review, but I've been itchin' to
post some Savatage and Dream Theatre, so keep checkin' in and I'll
surprise you with one or the other. I hope you all can get some sleep
despite your anxiousness and excitement!


Blogger Carol said...

Hi Dan,
To join the FFMB, leave a comment on my blog, saying that you would like to join and choose an instrument.
The band meets every Friday, to visit the chosen sites and leave comments for them.

Hope you will join!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Carl said...

I was always suprised that the whole vengeance-Mortification clique of musicians were able to capture the hate and anger of their genres and yet sing about the love of Christ. Amazing when you think about it.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous rockerchick said...

I'll try to get some sleep in spite of my excitement at the upcoming reviews.. :)

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did a great review, but it was Nuclear Blast recors it was released on in 1994.

4:25 PM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

Thanks Anonymous for the correction. Deep down I think I knew that, but honestly, I get those record labels backwards. I made the corrections to the post

Thanks again!


5:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home