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Haxkapell - Eldhymner

Haxkapell
Eldhymner
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 December 2021, 6:42 AM

HAXKAPELL is a Swedish black metal band who formed in 2015. "Eldhymner," is their full length debut; a demo was released in 2016. Most of it is actually one person by the name of OrakletJM, drums, and IPU on violin appear as well—I assume they are session/guest musicians. The subject matter of the album is dedicated to the element of fire as a source of power, death and life. Despite that, this is a total devastating blast of cold, bleak, black metal.  The production, however, is anything but cold.  “Eldhymner,” doesn’t have that cold, sterile and thin sound that seems to be popular among the genre for reasons I’ll never understand.  Rather, it packs quite the punch and retains enough raw power to keep it from being overly polished.

The album begins with the short track, "Kallet." As far as an intro goes, it does a fine job in setting the mood of the album: cold and mystic. "Tomhetens Lågor," blasts off after the silent few seconds of the intro leave. Right away, they introduce melody and clean vocals. Although many bands use these elements to make their music more. But HAXKAPELL wield it like a bade, making their music all the more biting. The classical style section after the four minute mark is surprising yet it feels very natural in its place.

"Eldskapt," is a blast of fury in its opening moments but quickly shows how dynamic it is. Subtle keyboards back up the riffs, adding in slight but effective theatrical elements. The song mixes raging black metal with clean/acoustic guitar throughout the song—it sounds very refine and mature. Violin makes its appearance later and adds a touch of class even when it plays alongside the hyper riffs and drums. "Solraviner," has a special sense of groove, a perfect meeting place between catchy riffs, solid rhythmic foundation and vocals that are pure fire. The short but sweet lead section is bold in that it sounds unconventional against the grain of the song. Not long after around the 2:55 mark, the song doubles up the tempo before smoothly sliding back into a folk tinged melodic end. The last track, “Sanningen” is a beautiful instrumental with low toned spoken word that ends the album perfectly while bringing it full circle.

"Eldhymner," is an impressive debut from a musician who clearly has a lot of ideas and a  forward thinking approach to black metal.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kallet
2. Tomhetens lågor
3. Eldskapt
4. Askans drottning
5. Ur malströmmens famn
6. Solraviner
7. Häxkapellet
8. Sanningen
Lineup:
Oraklet -  Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys
JM – Drums (Session)
IPU – Violin (Session)
Record Label: Nordvis Produktion
     


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