Hallig: 13 Keys to Lunacy

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Hallig: 13 Keys to Lunacy
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Hallig: 13 Keys to Lunacy
Black Metal
Folter Records
November 20th, 2012
Release length: 49:01
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Germany’s Hallig is a relatively new Black Metal group. The band formed around 2010, and now consists of five members. They quickly found themselves signed to Folter Records to unleash their debut full-length album, 13 Keys to Lunacy, an effort that hasn’t seen much exposure since it dropped. Is this because the release is far from anything spectacular, or is it simply that they have been greatly overlooked?

While this effort may only be eight tracks, it amounts to nearly fifty minutes of crisp Black Metal, starting off with “If I Am the Storm.” The song explodes to life immediately with some glorious hooks and a solid drumming performance in the background, including a machine-like click to the bass kicks that vary in steady machinegun-like blasts during the faster passages. A little less than half way, the material does slow down for a brief while to throw catchy, somewhat cold material your way with some clean singing that is more like a Viking worship verse. “Am Firmament” greets the listener with a burdening misery at the very start, as well as in some other passages, while the rest varies from faster paced assaults to rather basic mid-tempo performances that aren’t too unique, but still executed well enough to have you bob your head along.

“Reinvigoration” is a stunningly dark, yet honorable piece. The deeper music quality works well with the already strong bass presence, and the slightly hollowed snares really show how well they can sound, especially against the aforementioned near mechanical bass kicks. The rhaspy vocals are a bit restrained as well, which suits the morose atmosphere that the leads weave perfectly. By the seven minute mark, that brooding sensation is replaced with faster riffs and an infectious aggression. Finally there’s “13 Keys to Lunacy,” which seems more a nod towards the Depressive Black Metal style. The music is often fast, rich with hooks and a strong rhaspy vocal approach. The atmosphere is often quite sad, though not always as cold as you would hope. Things do pick up, finding the bass kicks to really push the rhythm along and make your head move with the faster leads and hooks, all of which makes this track stand out as much as “Reinvigoration” does.

13 Keys to Lunacy isn’t the most original effort, and the crisp audio quality doesn’t always help that fact out either. However, Hallig definitely put on a solid performance throughout all eight tracks, causing this release to be a rather enjoyable experience for what it is. Sure, there aren’t many memorable cut on display, but the overall quality is still worthwhile, ranging between aggression and misery to make 13 Keys to Lunacy a solid introductory piece for the hungry fans of the Black Metal community.

01. If I Am the Storm – 5:44
02. Hadaler Traum – 6:03
03. Reinvigoration – 8:14
04. Am Firmament – 5:27
05. Epiphany – 6:33
06. Nichts als Stille – 4:56
07. Unter Menschen – 4:21
08. 13 Keys to Lunacy – 7:43
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Hallig (band)
Hallig

Digital review copy of this release provided by Faltor Records.