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Hark From The Tomb – Let Them Die

Hark From The Tomb
Let Them Die
by Ian Yeara at 28 December 2020, 7:51 PM

I have to admit, when I first started this album up I rolled my eyes a little, it seemed like incredibly generic, by the numbers Black Metal. I don’t know when I started getting so jaded about Black Metal, maybe when I started listening to bands like ENSLAVED and I realized that Black Metal could be proggy and psychedelic as well as punching you in the face. Regardless I do have an abiding love of classic Black and Death Metal from the 90s, and the more I listened to this album the more I realized this really does all the things I like about 90s Black Metal. The production is rough and, at first, I had a hard time really hearing the music as well as I wanted, but once I got used to it I realized this album has some really strong hooks.

HARK FROM THE TOMB is an independent Black Metal band from Sweden and for this being their debut album, as well as the first release of any kind that I can find from them, this is surprisingly quality stuff. "Let Them Die" is about as straightforward as Black Metal gets nowadays, but with a strong emphasis on melody in the choruses and the guitar in general does a good job at laying down the harmonic baseline.

I really appreciate that this album doesn’t waste any time, right off the bat with "Bring Forth Armageddon" we get riffs, blasting us in the face with blast beats and blistering guitar. I really like how they use the riffs to emphasize the lyrics, I find a lot of bands don’t put as much thought into matching lyrics with vocal lines (especially in Black and Death Metal) and it’s refreshing to hear a band do it here so effectively and really turn the title of the song into a fun hook. It’s hard to pick out many individual songs because really they do sound very similar, but that doesn’t bother me, in fact this album sounds like an overarching umbrella song; the album being only 33 minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was pretty much written as one larger song. Just speculation, I have no idea if this is a concept album at all, but I love it when bands really try to tell a story through their music so I prefer to think that way.

This album doesn’t really do anything different or revolutionary, they just do all the little things right. The guitar tone is perfect and the way they’ve balanced everything in the mix is just right, or at least it sounds like 90s Black Metal worship. Even when an album isn’t necessarily my cup of tea I really appreciate when a band has a specific sound in mind and something they want to accomplish with their music and I feel like this band has done that. Obviously I don’t know what the band themselves think about the end result, but I say they should be proud of what they’ve created. This is about as 1994 in 2020 as it is possible to sound and I appreciate the efforts towards authenticity.

I almost feel guilty I don’t have more to say about this album, it’s short, sweet and to the point, just like this review is going to be. HARK FROM THE TOMB has created a lovely straightforward, no frills no filler, slab of second wave Black Metal that doesn’t get too caught up in it’s own “cvlt-ness” and remembers that riffs and hooks are really what Black Metal is all about. I strongly recommend this album to anyone looking for a short, but solid Black Metal album to enjoy and I hope you all follow this band’s career because I foresee great things for them if they keep this up.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Bring Forth Armageddon
2. His Will Made Flesh
3. Let Them Die
4. No Longer Human
5. Blood of the Lamb
6. Contamination of a Species
7. Plague, War, Death
8. Feeding His Hungering Flames
9. Final Prayer
Line-up unavailable
Record Label: Independent


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