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Hanging Fortress – Darkness Devours

Hanging Fortress
Darkness Devours
by Thomas Kumke at 03 November 2020, 5:47 PM

HANGING FORTRESS come from Toledo, Ohio and they were formed in 2018. They are a Death Metal band and play a classical style mixed with Groove Metal elements. Prior to “Darkness Devours”, they released two EPs. Their first full-length album was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Underhill Recording. It was released via US label Redefining Darkness Records which are specialized in Death/Black and Thrash Metal. “Darkness Devours” has a length of approximately 21 minutes. There is no official video release from the album yet.

Darkness Devours” is an album that has its foundations in classical Death Metal. The sound is mainly kept mid-tempo and dark. The guitar riffs are powerful and doomy. A good example is the opener “Burned Alive” that starts with a slow and dark guitar sequence which sets the tone of the song. The rhythm of the song is slow for most of the time with heavy and powerful guitar riffs. The lead sequences fit perfectly to the dark rhythm, so do the growls of Marcus Hartford. “Stab Wounds” continue the doom-laden approach but HANGING FORTRESS step up the tempo and raise the aggressiveness of the sound. Eric Haubert relentlessly hammers the drums and the guitar sound is brutal. The song includes a few variations in tempo, going from mid-tempo to slow and back, however the structure of the song is maintained and there are no distortions in sound.

Hanging Fortress” returns to the slow tempo similar to the opener but maintains aggressiveness in sound. It seamlessly transitions into “Blood Mountain” that follows the patterns of “Stab Wounds”. The mid-tempo part contain some great sequences of double bass drums and blast beats, the guitar riffs and short lead sequences are flesh-ripping. “Drown” is another example of the blood-curdling and vicious sound of HANGING FORTRESS: tempo changes throughout, guitar riffs that come from the abyss, and bone-crushing drumming especially during the mid-tempo parts of the song. The final song “Killing You” sums up the album very well. It contains the typical dark and heavy guitar riffs, tempo changes, insane drumming, and chilling growls.

Darkness Devours” is an album that, although influenced by the classical Death Metal sound, has its own style and identity. It features some of the, for this genre typical sound elements, but it is darker and slower. There is no high-speed approach to the sound at all and it is not overly technical which makes it different from classical role models. The strengths of this album are the guitar riffing and the drumming alongside with the, although at times monotone, growling vocals. The album is well produced. HANGING FORTRESS provide an interesting and very good debut album and I am sure we will hear a lot about them in the years to come.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Burned Alive
2. Stab Wounds
3. Hanging Fortress
4. Blood Mountain
5. Darkness Devours
6. Drown
7. Killing You
Marcus Hartford – Vocals
Jack Ponke – Guitars
Kyle “Lyric” ­ Guitars
Eric Haubert – Drums
Jimmy Huffman – Bass
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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