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Gevurah - Gehinnom Award winner

by David Hough at 14 January 2023, 1:24 AM

Gehinnom” is the second full-length release from the Canadian black metal band, GEVURAH. This new album came six years after their first full-length, “Hallelujah!.” It has appeared on several year-end lists, and it just barely got pushed off of mine. That in no way is a slight against them, as “Gehinnom” has taken up quite a lot of airtime for me since its release in October of 2022. On this album, they have a more modern approach to their sound, as opposed to those with a more traditional style. At the risk of creating yet another sub-subgenre, I’ve seen this contemporary style referred to as “cathartic black metal.” This sound is also adopted by the Brazilian act, GAEREA.

This album’s second track, “At The Orient Of Eden,” begins with a flurry of blast beats and distorted tremolo-picked lead guitar riffs. The raspy vocals aren’t as high-pitched as most traditional black metal artists. Instead, they occupy a more middle register. There is a doom metal passage that is unexpected, yet welcome, in the song’s middle third. Then, it concludes with the same ferocity that it began with. Where the opening instrumental track sets up the album proper, this one is a better indicator of what’s in store concerning the rest of the album.

The fourth track, “Towards The Shifting Sands,” serves as the climax of the album’s first half. Again, GEVURAH foregoes any sort of ramp-up in intensity. The drumming by X.T. is amazing and sets the foundation for some equally stellar lead guitar riffing. There are both sung and spoken vocal parts, and they work perfectly in this context. The violence and vitriol on display are palpable. This would be my favorite track if the entire album wasn’t also this good.

After that track comes the instrumental palate cleanser that is “LV 16:22.” The titular Bible verse refers to the definition of the term, “scapegoat.” This short passage ushers in the album’s second half.

Memento, Homo…,” the sixth track, is a contemporary black metal master class. There is plenty of evil in the lyrics of this Luciferian hymn. It features the same level of emotion as “Towards The Shifting Sands.'' Buzzing tremolos and ballistic blast beats assail the ears once more, while bombastic lead riffs synergize well with the aural onslaught that is the rhythm section. The chanted vocals are just the icing on the cake. This is the kind of music that gets me up in the morning.

The final track, “Gloria In Excelsis Deo, Et Ira Ad Homines In Terra,” is long-form black metal at its finest. The chanted title followed by some seriously amazing blast beats is a highlight. Both of GEVURAH’s members are working as one, and the result is pure brilliance. I gush, but this thirteen-minute track is the summation of all that is “Gehinnom.” The instrumentation is excellent, the vocals are evocative, and the song is well-developed.

This current “cathartic black metal wave that bands like GAEREA, ELLENDE, WHITE WARD, and GEVURAH are on is my jam. I love long tracks with many phases and intense metal music. This album, “Gehinnom,” delivers on every front, and I’m sure I’ll still be listening to it well into 2023.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Gehinnom
2. At the Orient of Eden
3. Blood-Soaked Katabasis
4. Towards the Shifting Sands
5. LV 16:22
6. Memento, Homo…
7. Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Et Ira ad Homines in Terra
A.L. - Guitars, Bass
X.T. - Vocals, Drums, Guitars
Record Label: Profound Lore Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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