From the Island of Tasmania, towards the south of the Australian mainland, hails a Black Metal musical entity named, “IGNIS GEHENNA”. The name for the band is derived from the dead language Latin and it translates to “Hell-Fire”. The idea for the project stemmed from the mind of our protagonist, Nihilifer, and Archfiend, who lives in the States. The two met through the internet and were connected through their mutual interests in Satanism and Sorcery. After the death of the Black Metal band “EREBUS ENTHRONED”, vocalist and mastermind, Nihilifer, focused all his attention on “IGNIS GEHENNA”, a Black Metal band with devil worship as its main lyrical theme. Although the birth of this macabre band began way back in the year 2007, the band lay dormant for a period of time. A demo entitled, “Ecclesia Diabolus”, was released in the year 2008 and an EP followed soon after in the year 2010 called “Revelations of Sinister Rebirth”. Archfiend participated and contributed towards the demo, as well as the EP, but had no input in the band’s debut effort that was released via Séance Records. Nihilifer concedes that work on this album began way back in the year 2009, as he and another member of “EREBUS ENTHRONED”, wrote new material that never saw the light of day. Along the way, these tracks were re-arranged along with newer material which led to the material that eventually transformed itself into “Baleful Scarlet Star”. Nihilifer has since said that the band has never played live and it would take time for the band to actually perform live.
“Serpent Oracle” is the first hellish track and it begins rather deliberately, while slowly building up the prospect of a brutal song. A track that is almost 8 minutes in runtime has some heavy riffs and it is almost 2 minutes before the gravelly vocals enter the fray. Vicious vocals, set to ferocious riffs and tight drumming, make this a killer opener to the album. Aggressive guitar parts and rasping vocals make this track a nefarious delight to listen to. The title track of the album, “Baleful Scarlet Star”, is the next track and its starts out with heavy hitting riffs and double bass drum action. The song is abrasive from its inception and there is no let up in savagery, all 8 minutes of it. The song settles into a groove around the 2-minute mark, although it seems to lose a little steam by the half way mark. The evil riffs soldiers on and the track becomes a frantic dirge for the last 2 minutes. “Melas Oneiroi” is relatively on the shorter side with a run time of just over 5 minutes. The track has a wicked riff in the beginning and hurried drumming accompany gnarly lead vocals. The track jumps in tempo and it is difficult to get a lock onto it, as the melody seems very general in nature. “Anamnesis” is the last track of this ruthless record and it seems to include elements of Melodic Death Metal in its riffs. The entirely instrumental track may not be the best way to end the album, as the track sorely lacks the dimension that the bloodthirsty growls provide. The track does hard to match up with the harsh tracks that preceded it. Indeed this is an insipid end to a barbarous album that leaves much to be desired.
“Baleful Scarlet Star” is a chaotic and furious album from the start and filled with merciless riffs that keep pace with the gruff growls of Nihilifer. Barring a few moments of placidity, this album is brutal and unrelenting. The songs conjure up an atmosphere of infernal proportions and the vocals are spot on. Rapid fire drumming and terse lead guitar work complement each other unmercifully. This is a hell of an evil album and it is impressive in its lyrical content as well as its musicality.