1349 - Hellfire (BACK ON BLACK - LP 2006)
Two killer albums "Liberation" and "Beyond the Apocalypse" behind them, but 1349 came up with even stronger record with their third attack titled "Hellfire". This is definitely my favourite 1349 album, a real highlight of their discography. While it keeps all the characteristic aspects of 1349 style intact, "Hellfire" is just better if we speak about the . And especially the production, which is probably the biggest reason why I like this record more than its predecessors. You could finally hear their riffs with no problems and the chaotic impression is smaller, so songs are more memorable and easier to listen to. Which in case of such ferocious black metal does have an importance, I think.
As I mentioned, this is very much a natural continuation of the 1349 previous albums. Which means you can still find on "Hellfire" their madness, insane intensity, sheer aggression and viciousness, all almost on the edge of chaos and cacophony, so fast and severe this music mostly is. Frost blasts like crazy with the speed of light, a lot of riffs are already quite characteristic for 1349, with that fast tremolo picking and specific style, which has been started on "Liberation". But thanks to better, a bit cleaner production, songs are not so messy anymore. And you can even pick up some melodic lines here and there like in "", which is something very new to this band!
There are more slower parts, what gives more diversity to the album, but it's also a reason why more fragments are memorable and characteristic for each of these songs. This album isn't so blurry like a cacophonous wall of black metal noise, which is an impression you could sometimes have with their previous album. And generally, I think there are better riffs and more of Take such "From the Deeps" - what a killer song it is. It has everything you like 1349 for, but it's far from the monotonous blasting black metal. Of corpse that straight forward, relentless, aggressive black metal still dominates on "Hellfire" - "I Am Abomination" and "Sculptor of Flesh" are the best examples for that. But as I mentioned, the album is more diverse and simply better. And speaking of diversity, I haven't yet mentioned the title track! This near 14 minutes long track is something 1349 haven't done before! I’m not give you spoilers, but keyboards? Yes, they're there! Dark, obscure atmosphere? Yeah, also there!
So, here's "Hellfire" - an excellent pure black metal annihilation. Interestingly, 1349's next full length "Revelations of the Black Flame" brought us a very experimental, but obscure and sinister music. Something completely different from the previous three albums. But I'm not big fan of this album, I definitely prefer "Hellfire"!
We are an abomination!
Standout tracks: "Sculptor of Flesh", "", "From Deeps", "Hellfire"