October 24th, 2005
Release length: 52:09
1349 have worked on making their music even tighter then before, as well as a little more original. Their last album saw a lot of worshipping towards the original black metal movement and the true Nowegian sound, Hellfire really focuses moreso on the brutal aspect of the music, as well as writing some more original music instead of just recycling old riffs that defined a movement. But the biggest thing to note about this release would have to be the production quality being of a much higher quality in comparison to their previous releases, sounding as if the band actually entered a studio instead of one they made themselves from recording technology available at a local Wal-Mart store. The vocals on this release are a hell of a lot better and much more dominant, outside of when the music becomes your traditional black metal (such as during a later bridge “Nathicana”). Sometimes, the vocalist will let loose with a stereotypical black metal wailing style, which just gets lost in the background of the music.
This album features a lot of killer tracks, such as “I Am Abomination” and “Sculptor Of Flesh”. But, while there are some really great songs on this release, and not just those two, the album does have it’s share of bland tracks, but luckily nowhere near as many as on previous releases. “To Rottendom” is an extremely repetative song that is reminiscent of previous works by 1349, as well as features the aforementioned distortion on the vocals that cause them to be a little lower and often silenced by the drumming. It’s about at this point the album starts to get a little boring, and the rest of the material just feels like filler. “From The Deeps” and “Slaves To Slaughter” are essentially the same, just without the heavy vocal distortion. The closing track, “Hellfire”, however, is something unique. The track builds up slow with the crackling of fire, to represent the track’s title, taking forever to get to the music, and when it does, it has it’s moments with the guitars, but ultimately feels like something off of Beyond The Apocalypse, but just a step up from it. The song will seem somewhat drawn out after a while, but the closing to the song has some nice guitar work, and of course, ends with the sounds of fire and demonic laughter.
While not every song on this release is a gem, Hellfire is yet another step forward in the right direction for 1349. The music is intense and has more originality in it then the previous albums, and really shows off the talent the band has, and not just their drummer’s (Frost’s) abilities. If you haven’t heard this album yet, it is definitely worth checking out, but the band still has a little more room for improvement, which, if chronology is right, should hit on the next record.
01. I Am Abomination – 4:09
02. Nathicana – 4:38
03. Sculptor of Flesh – 3:17
04. Celestial Deconstruction – 7:44
05. To Rottendom – 5:51
06. From the Deeps – 6:25
07. Slaves to Slaughter – 6:11
08. Hellfire – 13:49
|Overall Score: 7.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.