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Haissem – Kuhaghan Tyyn

Kuhaghan Tyyn
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 28 January 2021, 6:33 AM

HAISSEM is a one man black metal band based in Ukraine from the mind of Andrey Tollock, also of the melodic death/doom band SUNSET FORSAKEN.  I reviewed that’s bands latest album, “85 Nerves,” and enjoyed it quite a bit.  Does lighting strike twice?  Yes, yes it does.  With HAISSEM’s fourth full length album, “Kuhaghan Tyyn,” he proves he is adapt at playing black metal as he is doom.

With four tracks and a run time of about 43 minutes, it finds that sweet spot for holding my attention all the way through.  This band is actually rather melodic but still incorporates plenty of raw, furious moments that black metal is known for.   I appreciate the fact that a lot of the more melodic moments come from the guitars.  A lot of melodic black metal sticks to using keyboards to develop an atmosphere, which is fine as many bands can pull it off, but I always enjoy it when the guitars do the talking—the instrument can be just as moving and picture painting as anything else.

The soundscapes within this album can indeed be very emotional,   the melodies pulling the songs in the right direction.  The drums and the blackened screams (and growls) go a long way in counteracting this.  In essence, the album is very well balanced between light and dark elements. “Black Tide Dominion,” opens the album with clean, quiet guitar.  The drums rustle in the background before the melodic leads kick in while the double bass amplifies the overall sound.  Andrey’s vocals just work so well against the grain of the guitars, both acting in one fluid movement.  The bass and drums are a solid foundation that provide low end that doesn’t go overboard on the intensity but instead elevates it all.  The sudden change in tempo, and the included clean vocals, are a nice touch and give the nearly eleven minute song the variety it needs.

The darkness that represents black metal still permeates through the songs, especially in the moments like the beginning of the second track “Arcanum.”  There is a melodic death feel to this song, especially in the faster paced harmonies.  About three fourths through the song, a wall of sound builds up into layers of guitars and a very dense passage of drums, screams, and guitar appears.  As the song slows back down, the darkness returns for a stunning ending.

Aokigahara,” pains a Gothic picture like a much less spastic CRADLE OF FILTH.  This song is very focused and put together well.  Each section of melody glues the notes from one passage to the next, picking up or slowing down as seeing fit.  This creates a surprisingly dynamic  number with a much faster and heavier final half.  The guitar and bass tones are gritty and sharp, focusing on maximum damage.  Light touches of keys highlight the chaos near the song’s end—very nice touch here.

Call me crazy but “Кuhаҕан Тыын” begins life with a post-metal feel, a more straight forward guitar piece that picks up extra layers and sound as the song builds.  I just love how the melodies ride just beneath the black metal vocals.  This is without a doubt the most epic song on the album as it approaches fourteen minutes in length.  Parts of the song take a more traditional route, focusing on speed and aggression.  But the proggy melodic passage takes the song into a unexpected territory and beautiful clean vocals fill the air.  Whatever you are looking for in a black metal song can probably be found here.  The near blues style guitar towards the end also caught me off guard but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work.

HAISSEM’s “Kuhaghan Tyyn” is an exceptional melodic black metal album with plenty of dynamics and well written songs for even the most ardent black metal fan to enjoy.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Black Tide Dominion
2. Arcanum
3. Aokigahara
4. Кuhаҕан Тыын
Andrey Tollock – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Satanath Records


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