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The Bishop of Hexen - The Death Masquerade Award winner

The Bishop of Hexen
The Death Masquerade
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 15 September 2020, 11:20 AM

To use old formulas to breed something different isn’t an easy task, but these words don’t mean that one can’t try. Of course there are possibilities to be used and explored, and even not bringing something different that wasn’t heard before, a band can create something great. And this is the case of the Israeli quartet THE BISHOP OF HEXEN. Their third album, “The Death Masquerade”, is amazing!

It’s a form of Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal that is similar to what CARACH ANGREN and DIMMU BORGIR plays, but using elements that are usually heard on bands as BORKNAGAR (some clean tunes on the vocals). But their music can’t be reduced by such words, because their music is rich, with fine keyboards arrangements, creating the right balance between melodic, symphonic and aggressive elements. Yes, they’re really great! The production was done in a way that they could align all their musical work could be expressed in a way that anyone can understand. But they try to keep their sonority darkened and somber, in a way that the symphonic elements create a perfect ambiance that could be compared to the ones that can be felt on old and classic horror films and books.

Musically, this is the kind of album that, personally, this writer wants to have an autographed copy. It’s really amazing, sounding great and darkened, with all the songs being great. But the ones for a first coming could be pointed as the hooking and grandiose “A Witch King Reborn” (symphonic, darkened and crude due its ambiance created by keyboards and guitars), the crushing bones melodies and orchestrations of “Of Shuttering Harps & Shadow Hounds” (pay attention to the excellent work from bass guitar and drums, creating excellent rhythmic contrasts) and on “Death Masks” (great vocals, using shrieks, guttural and morbid tunes to fit on such very good instrumental lines), the Baroque/Ultra romantic/Gothic ambiance that can be felt on “All Sins Lead to Glory” and on “The Jester’s Demise” (hope the reader knows what these literary movements), the funereal beauty and appeal of “A Thousand Shades of Slaughter” (the contrasts between the beauty and the darkened appear a lot on the keyboards and vocals). These are all the album’s tracks, because “Catacumba Essentia” is an intro, and “Sine Nomine” is an atmospheric outro. Yes, this album has no weak spots, and it’s really charming.

THE BISHOP OF HEXEN is an excellent name, and “The Death Masquerade” is really a great album. But why in the blazes has no one introduced the band to me earlier?

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Catacumba Essentia
2. A Witch King Reborn
3. Of Shuttering Harps & Shadow Hounds
4. Death Masks
5. All Sins Lead to Glory
6. The Jester’s Demise
7. A Thousand Shades of Slaughter
8. Sine Nomine
Lineup:
Ariel Eshcar - Lead Guitars
Avicious - Rhythm Guitars, Bass
Dimrost - Keyboards
Lord Koder - Vocals, Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Dusktone Records
     


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