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Mayhem Webzine - http://www.mayhem.de
Review by Andreas Translated by Joris
From the ashes of "Old Funeral" a band regarded by insiders
as legendary and which (amongst others) had members of Burzum and Immortal in it?s line-up, Hades Almighty, formerly known as Hades, rose around 1992/93 at the beginning of the Black-Metal wave. Because of juridical problems with an American Techno-Trash band of the same name the band was forced to add the monicker "Almighty".After 2 full-length releases (debut CD "...Again shall be" and the collosal "The dawn of the dying sun") Hades Almighty were signed by Nuclear Blast. Because of the flood of CD's of bands from their own stable, Hades Almighty was licensed by Hammerheart Records and through that label "Millenium
Nocturne" finally was released. The thing that sets Hades Almighty apart from other Scandinavian Pagan/Black Metal bands is mainly their Doom-orientated majestic speed (e.g. "Carnival Blaspheme"), which gives this foursome's music an incredibly gracious heaviness and darkness. Combined with cracking vocals and the slightly scratching sound (like on the last album) Hades Almighty is exceptional Pagan/Black metal band. I can't think of any band of this kind that hammers through such dark matters with the same speed (except from certain slower Gorgoroth- or Dark Throne material) with which these Norwegians can be compared. Technical
perfection is nor expected nor desired here, the band runs only on infernal intensity and their heavy pounding drums with which their music in a certain way is celebrated. Speaking of drums: the only major part the double-bass plays is in the
song "Gardens of chaos", which starts with a nice medieval intro that leaves the black heart hoping for more. Also the use of a sitar and short accompaniment of keyboard is things these Norsemen do not back down from and remarkably fitting
to me are the clear, deep "normal" vocals by drummer Remi ("Nighttime endurance")! People, when you see a picture of this Viking, you can vividly imagine how he sings! Along with the medieval parts this is definitely a direction the band
should continue to experiment in!
Conclusion: Highspeed Black metal freaks à la "Dark Funeral" or other Swedish representatives may have some problems with this diabolical brew, but should give this CD a chance or at least some minutes (especially because the 9 songs in almost 60 minutes offer true value for money!). Those already familiar with Hades Almighty can expect an album that, similar to its predecessor, approaches musical slow-motion, something which was not necassarily to be expected from the band.
Speed is replaced by all-entangling darkness, blackness and spine-chilling, clattering cold in accordance to the album title, and this adds up to be one of the most evil records I ever listened to! To me this development comes as a surprise and as an innovation for the stagnant scene. Hades Almighty 1999 stand for Black metal that really deserves this title and will catapult this foursome into the spearhead of True Black Metal. Highlights are the grotesque "A ballad of death and obsession", followed by "Nighttime endurance" and the opener "Dream traveller".
Sweet Suffering e-zine
Ex-HADES, now HADES ALMIGHTY, this Norwegian band releases here its new album, 'Millenium nocturne'. Its great artwork and the fact that some of the members were in OLD FUNERAL can make you think that this album is gonna be a bomb. Sadly, no, it isn't!! Nuclear Blast gave the licence to Hammerheart, and I don't even ask myself why! And I still can't understand why the excellent Hammerheart released that! Firstly, they look more like FUROIUS TRAUMA than MARDUK (I know it means nothing, but...), and most of all, there is nothing in their music! The Black voice is OK, but not the clear one, and the music is ultra-slow and boring! It pisses me off after 20 seconds, and bad luck, the songs are about 7 minutes long! Even when you play "accelerate lecture" on your CD player, it is still slowlier than most of the Doom bands, which means a lot! And apart from the piano bit on 'Carnival blaspheme' or the good solo on 'Gardens of chaos', there is nothing! Avoid it, unless you are a CATHEDRAL fan and want to try to listen to "Black".
Unchain The Underground
I loved their Alone Walkying demo and the debut CD, Again Shall Be.... Both are very grim, heavy, grandiose releases that sport some of the finest mid-paced black metal ever laid to tape. Hades' second release, Dawn of the Dying Sun, disappointed me terribly. There was no growth... the songs offered nothing new, the production was flat and lame and the whole release just came off as sounding completely uninspired.
With Millenium Nocturne, however, Hades (now "Hades Almighty," although the logo doesn't reflect the name change) have completely redeemed themselves. The change was no in name only. Not only has the production improved tenfold, steps forward have been taken in the songwriting department as well. The new songs aren't quite as "epic" sounding as tunes like "Pagan Triumph" and "Glorious Again The Northland Shall Become" off the debut, but what they do have that previous material did not is a much more varied feel throughout. Whereas Again Shall Be got to be a bit tedious, Millenium Nocturne easily holds my interest throughout, despite being over 5 minutes longer than the debut. A very strong release that I recommend to fans of the earlier material as well as anyone looking for an example of mid-paced black metal done right. - Al Kikuras
Don’t get confused. This band has nothing to do with Vanessa’s husband band of the early ‘90s. This is a band that was formed in 1992, in the rising of the Norwegian Black metal scene. They were formed from the ashes of the legendary death metal band Old Funeral (which also had members of Immortal and Burzum in its ranks). No need to say more. I presume that you have already realized that this is a traditional death metal band, playing traditional death metal music. Riffs that kill (sensible people with even of touch of taste in music), brutal vocals that are apparent with every other brutal vocals attempt you’ve heard...the works. The CD has a very good cover, the band has the fitting ‘wild and evil’ image, the songs have titles like ‘Carnival blaspheme’ and ‘Gardens of Chaos’, what more could a true death metal fan want for his next purchase?
Many things have changed recently for Norwegian black metal outfit, Hades Almighty. Most drastically, it’s a change in moniker as the group already released two full-lengths and an EP under the name Hades, the exact name of the New Jersey power metal band who have been around well over a decade. Another change is Hades Almighty leaving the Full Moon label and signing with Nuclear Blast (although Hammerheart wound up issuing the album due to NB’s hectic release schedule). Many will consider this move a leap into the mainstream and disrespect the band for it. Why? Hades Almighty’s music hasn’t changed! The quartet continue spewing mid-paced black metal out of the bowels of darkness. Millenium [sic]Nocturne is an extremely dark-sounding album which sends shivers down my spine when played at night with the lights off. Moving shop away from the crappy Grieghallen to a new recording studio, the production is cleaner and more professional sounding. However, the fuzzy, severely distorted guitars are still present and sound as eerie as ever. Nothing has changed since the band’s previous offering, Dawn Of The Dying Sun. Marginally lengthy songs never exceed mid-pace while screaming raspy vocals roughly scrape the skin of your face. Melodic guitar lines whirl in and out of each song, giving each a sense of uniqueness and atmosphere. The clean chanting vocals are still efficiently used in select parts too. Millenium Nocturne is another successful accomplishment for this talented Norwegian gang. I have always enjoyed their music and Millenium Nocturne comes recommend to individuals who like mid-paced, haunting black metal with an ace production and an overall creepy vibe.
Review by: jørn T.
Norwegian black/Viking metal, fierce, cold and raw - that is my past experience with Hades. More controlled and produced than the likes of Gorgoroth, yet still brutal, especially the vokills. The band exudes an atmosphere of oppressive gloom throughout that is almost tangible at times.
With Millenium Nocturne, the band has recorded an impressive album that holds true to their sound while definitely developing it in some new directions. First off, the tempos tend toward slow and mid rather than all-out assaults of speed. Halfway through "Dream Traveller," for example, there is a break where you fully expect a blast beat to take over, but it doesn't happen. This kind of "expect the unexpected" permeates the album and makes for a much more interesting listen than some of the more straight-forward black metallers out there.
Secondly, the songs are built on relatively simple riffs, but are layered and contorted in a way that keeps your interest throughout. Instead of throwing a thousand different ideas together and calling it a song, they actually develop one idea to its maximum potential. Unusual chords and drum patterns further enhance Hades' sound and makes this one of the most original releases I've heard in a while.
The production is just dirty enough to add to the grim atmosphere, while the mix is perfectly balanced between all the instruments and vocals, including some sparse keyboard bits here and there. The band does utilize elements like keys and operatic female vocals, but they are very subdued and infrequent, so they don't overburden the band's sound at all.
While I have only been mildly impressed with Hades in the past, Millenium Nocturne is definitely a winner. The band has achieved that ever-difficult task of maintaining the core of their sound while still pushing the boundaries. Not just of their own sound, either, but I dare say this album has expanded the definition of black metal itself, at least moreso than any other release I've heard this year.
Review by: jørn T.
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