HADES - …Again Shall Be (FULL MOON Productions - CD 1994)
What an exciting time was in Norway back in the early / mid 90’s! I don’t necessarily mean the criminal aspects – although they surely gave a lot of attention to the whole scene and they’re to be blamed for the bad or good press and the eruption of new trend. But let’s put aside all that ideological matters, however important they were and also despite their influence on creating the special spirit to the whole scene. But, when writing it was exciting time, I mainly meant the musical aspects of Norwegian black metal. All in all, so many truly amazing and great albums have been recorded at that time! And many I can call cult, because they deserve it, also because almost every band had something unique to offer and had original sound and style each. Hades from Bergen was one of such special nocturnal hordes for sure. They may have came quite late, as the band was formed in 1992 – before Jorn played in Old Funeral and had an episode in Immortal, and I think Hades was formed after Old Funeral split up. Anyway, the band quickly proved to be one of the most special Norwegian bands, first with their classic demo “Alone Walkyng”, followed by utterly classic and cult debut album “…Again Shall Be”, which for me is of the very best Norwegian black metal albums of all time. It has everything; great sound, great playing and riffs, killer cold and dark atmosphere… and history behind it.
I love the opening, instrumental track, which is so damn epic and monumental, so atmospheric at the same time… It is obviously strongly influenced by the great and only Bathory, but at the same time it is unique, as Hades is a unique band. When I listen to “Pagan Triumph” I also realize how awesome is the production of the whole album… killer, raw guitar tone, drums, which sound like thunder... I really can’t think of ANY other Norwegian or whatever band, which would have a sound like “…Again Shall Be”. And that says a lot about how excellent and exceptional this LP is. But going further, we have amazing anthem called “Hecate (Queen of Hades)”, which is just… again, damn monumental and majestic, but also dark and angry. This time I also notice fantastic vocals of Janto, whose shrieking and harsh voice fits this music perfectly (he also uses clean vocals in some parts, which also fit the style of Hades music brilliantly) and also some great guitar harmonies, which make the whole album sound even more interesting.
And you know, I’ve been knowing this album since probably 1996, when I got it on cassette and damn, I still can’t get enough of it, I still think that every song on it is just perfect. It never gets boring, it excites me every time I listen to it! Such “The Ecstasy of an Astral Journey” for example – what a fantastic song, there are some riffs in it, which give me so much power and goose skin, plus those keyboards and acoustic guitars and screams of Janto... it is absolutely amazing and essential Norsk epic black metal. Damn, people praise Immortal, when they play some Bathory like stuff, but for me Immortal is not even half as good as Hades on their early albums. Another truly outstanding and my favourite song is the title track… again the riffs are memorable, heavy and the atmosphere is just perfect. Then there’s “Unholy Congregation”, one of the most aggressive songs here, but again so memorable, with quite catchy, but raw and obscure riffs. In my opinion Hades managed to find a secret way to compose monumental, but aggressive, harsh but memorable songs – something what is quite rare or almost feels impossible to do. More so, they had many fantastic ideas, incorporated some brilliant acoustic and drum patterns or whatever motifs into their songs, which only make them sound more incredible than they already did. And another awesome example for that is “Glorious Again the Northland Shall Become”, filled with acoustics and other stuff...
There’s simply not a bad song here, not a single boring moment. I know that things like a perfect record do not exist, but damn… “…Again Shall Be” is just as close to it as not many other LPs. And truly along with “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, “In the Nightside Eclipse”, “Vikingligr Veldi”, “Under the Funeral Moon”, “Bergtatt”, “Borknagar”, “The Shadowthrone” and few others, this is a classic LP, which stands pride as a legendary now. Absolute must to have for sure.
Standout tracks: “The Ecstasy of an Astral Journey”, “…Again Shall Be”, “Unholy Congregation”, “Glorious Again the Northland Shall Become”
Final rate: 100/100