Have you been contemplating just giving up on black metal? It’s becoming a spiraling vortex that seems to be drawing a gigantic amount of corporatism and bad ideas to its previously unpolished, raw eye. Satanic lyrics are now somewhat cliche because they are expected to be, and the occult imagery is what Mötley Crüe would do if they had actually worshiped the devil.
You gotta recognize: even the almighty Watain has waivered…two albums in a row. Admittedly, I like those records, but they do have a somewhat “not evil enough” aftertaste.
Well, here’s something that can restore your blasphemous faith in black metal: Hymns.
Hymns are a five piece from the Ozarks, the whackiest place a black metal band could be from. To be more specific, they’re from Fayetteville in my current homestate of Arkansas. They are signed to Housecore Records and just did a tour with Phil Anselmo and the Illegals. I have it on good authority that they are fantastic live.
Their self-titled album is everything that you love about this subgenre of metal. It sounds like they recorded it on the first take on a busted tape deck, giving it this grimy, supercharge of distortion. The vocalist sounds like a demon chained to a rocky spire at the core of the Earth and his tormenting screams have made it all the way to your ears through the portal that is Hymns’ music.
Do you like blast beats? Good. Hymns has a plethora blast beats.
The most notable aspect of the album, though, is that it sort of doubles as a drone album. I don’t mean that it’s super slow or anything like a drone-y doom album. No, Hymns creates such a raucous wall of noise that it oftentimes sounds like it’s coming from a single source instead of five sources. If you need a doom counterpart, though, I would have to say Indian is comparably noisy and enthralling.
Hymns has a good start going for them. They are signed to a pretty great record label right off. If they keep making waves, maybe a resurgence of sick black metal acts who stick to their guns, play stripped down, violent riffs, and focus on the gut impulse of rebellion will arise. Maybe it will happen in the Bible Belt? It would make sense, right?
Anyway, check out Hymns, they rule.
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