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Halls of Oblivion - ...Of Hate and Despair

Halls of Oblivion
...Of Hate and Despair
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 March 2021, 9:07 AM

Deep in the gloomy "halls of oblivion", a tender melody and a whispered word suddenly become a roaring composition with brutal riffs and heavy words. Merciless and honest, the depths of the human soul are awaiting the listener within fictional walls. Internal unrest seeks its way through silence and oblivion in an aggressive and desperate way, thereby obtaining a hearing. The creations of the four handsome men from Vaihingen/Enz (Germany) represent a cruel, sorrowful ambiance. They unveil themes that are often kept secret but should not be forgotten. In doing so, they demonstrate their musical skills and sense of the subtleties of Melodic Death Metal. Influences of Black and Doom metal complement the use of synthesizers.

Formed in Germany in 2007, “…Of Hate and Despair” is the band’s second EP and contains four tracks. “Fading Away” leads off the album. It begins with some tense clean guitars and background chants, leading to a slow and heavy riff. In comes the raging vocal screams and galloping drums. The sound drops to an ambient passage for just a bit before returning with a vengeance. The ebb and flow in and out of the ambient passages to the harsh ones is done with nice transitions.

“King of None” begins with soft clean guitars and some piano notes usher in the harsh riff, with more of those background chants. The Doomy elements come in the form of the clean passages, and the vocals are mostly screams but do go lower at times. Much of the melody comes from the piano and lead guitar notes. The ending sequence is quite charming. “…Of Hate and Despair” opens with very pretty piano notes. Whoever is performing the piano needs a nod for sure. The main riff drops and it’s slow and powerful, then the drums roll and it picks up steam. The death here is a slow one. You are tortured for several days before finally giving in. The is a slow fade-out to completion.

“Walking Dead” is an over-eight-minute closer, done acoustically. Piano and light Symphonic elements open the song, which is both melancholy and alluring. The vocals are clean at first, and Sebastian shows some versatility in his voice. “Nothing will stop this decay” he croons. A soulful guitar solo is laid down at the half-way mark. A key change towards the end drives the stake further into your heart. This is a lamenting track. Overall, this was an interesting EP. The band combines several different genres of music here. At times, you can feel the Melodic Death Metal components, but all done with a Doomy atmosphere, and the vocals do feel Black at times. I love the use of piano and some of the Symphonic elements as well. The melodies they build are subtle at times, and wide open at other times. An excellent release.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Fading Away
2. King of None
3. …Of Hate and Despair
4. Walking Dead
Sebastian Ruf – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Marcel Welte – Lead Guitar
Markus Kristen – Bass
Markus Weber – Drums
Record Label: Metalapolis Records


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