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Haissem – A Sleep of Primeval Ignorance Award winner

A Sleep of Primeval Ignorance
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 August 2022, 12:40 PM

HAISSEM is a black metal band from Ukraine that released their debut album in 2016. This year sees the release of the six full length "A Sleep Of Primeval Ignorance."  HAISSEM has also released two eps over the years. The band is actually the hard work of one man Andrey Tollock, also of SUNSET FORSAKEN.  This album consists of four long form songs and a run time of about 44 minutes. It also features ANDREY writing his best album yet. Every element that makes HAISSEM so special is presented in here in the most engaging and sterling combination yet.

The highlights of the album are many but the keen sense of melody and riffs are what stand out to me.  The guitar/bass melodies and harmonies are woven into the very fabric of the songs, creating free flowing yet catchy songs that breeze by despite their length. But being extreme metal, this is also riff based as well. There isn't a compromise between being heavy or melodic—-each style works to compliment the other. On top of all that, each song is stuffed with little details and flourishes that connect it all together. Whether it is keys, clean notes, or moments of sheer intensity, each song has these pieces that add in an extra layer of depth.

The opening track "Shade Upon The Forsaken Grave," opens with subtle and gentle keys. Thunder highlights a beautifully done melodic guitar solo as the storm moves the music along. Blackened vocals and chunky riffs suddenly hit hard, born out of the storm. Melodic riffs intersect with them helping the song effortlessly move into a cinematic landscape with sweeping keys and lighting quick drums. At 4:48, a quick tempo grabs the melodic riffing working in tandem with the crisp drumming. The riffs became more intricate as the extreme vocals meld into the flow.

"Bleak Heaven Aloft," takes an immediate aggressive approach, showing the extreme metal base still has strong roots into the foundation. From here, these roots stretch out and the song becomes an organic extension of itself.  There is an organic flow to the song, each different part based on the previous movement. The riffs blend into the atmosphere as it introduces keys that set up a sorrowful melodic section that, in turn, lead into a groove that the vocals growl and shout over in a similar wave. By this time, the song has grow more melodic but the drums bring it back to heavier waters for a mid length romp of sweet sweet blackened groove. The last two and a half minutes or so are towering, the keys and guitars working as one to raise the climax to dizzying heights.

"Dieu Le Veut . Chaoseed," is a burner with low end groove and a driving rhythmic force. The clean chants really help push the music through as they aren't regulated to the background but sound just as up front as the instruments. I love how the keys in this song highlight everything else that is happening while being a force on their own. Catchy groove continues to build but when it mixes with the clean vocals and the blackened vocals, a sense of urgency resonates throughout the music as it flows into the final track, "At The Trail To Devastated Infinity."

As the final track, this song has a lot to say. The tones are somber, and I would even say tragic. Still, the vocals provide a sense of growing nature. As the music rests on this edge of uncertainty, violence grows, wrought by the drums. Around the three minute mark, intricate and tight riffs add in a progressive feel to the song then slows down back to a somber era. The last half of the song is more aggressive but doesn't forget to bring the grave yard tones with it. HAISSEM have created something special with "A Sleep Of Primeval Ignorance," by being an incredibly detailed and adventurous album that paints epic soundscapes while still maintaining hellish fervor.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Shade Upon The Forsaken Grave
2. Black Heaven Aloft
3. Dieu Le Veut. Chaoseed
4. At The Trail To Devastated Infinity
Andrey Tollock – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Satanath Records


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