HOTH – “Astral Necromancy” Album Review (black metal)

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Astral Necromancy

Every now and again, a black metal band arrives to wipe aside the rules only to create their own; defiant of genre lines or otherwise.

USA black metal band Hoth arrive again on June 15 with their latest opus, Astral Necromancy.   Hoth is the product of David Dees and Eric Peters.  This marks their third official full-length release preceded by 2014’s concept album, Oathbreaker and Infinite Darkness.

Hoth AN PromoPhoto1
HOTH (USA) – Eric Peters and David Dees

 

 

From Bandcamp: “Astral Necromancy is a collection of black magic rituals and unholy spells that weave a tale of forbidden knowledge and spiritual transcendence.  Oathbreaker was a concept album that lead the listener down a darker and darker path; it was a linear journey. On the other hand, Astral Necromancy already exists in the crushing, unforgiving darkness. There are no paths. There is no light and no hope – just an exploration of cosmic mysteries and black magic – a journey in infinite directions.”

Hoth creates their own voice and style.  Period.  They really present a modern form of black metal that tosses an occasional nod to the classics of the past.  Every so often we might hear traces of influences from old school bands like Celtic Frost or Dimmu Borgir (i.e. “The Gathering Of The Accursed Artifacts.”)  We even find a few tastefully done power/thrash metal moments.  Worry not, however.  Hoth stays true to their blackened roots.

Astral Necromancy contains a rock-solid 11 tracks including a haunting, layered a-capella track, “Ad Inane Precatio.”  It can not be overstated that every track on Astral Necromancy stands equally on its own which indeed is a rarity in black metal these days.  From the press release: “The eleven tracks on the album explore themes ranging from corruption of the self to what lies at the end of all time; from journeys through frostbitten wastelands to the acquisition of forbidden knowledge.”

“The Living Dreams of a Dead God” is an interesting track and a favorite of this editor.  First of all, the track is akin to the types of songs we like to virtually blow out our speakers in the middle of traffic.  But there’s a lot of other things going on in it.  There is even a brief almost classical sounding influence in the break of clean guitars at 3:20.   Then it’s back to the fury.  This is a good track to show the dynamics of the vocals.  On one hand, like many traditional black metal albums, the vocals are screamed to the point of ripping a hole in the sky.  On the other hand, a more predominant vocal effect throughout the album is one of a subdued but yet more menacing (though not less sinister) style.

Another highlight of the album we found was in “Journey To The Eternal Winter.”  There indeed is some interesting guitar work in here inside the verse portions; the upper fret picking at half the speed of the blast beats along with the lower tremolo picking.  

So at the end of the day, Astral Necromancy is a serious achievement for a band who incredibly is composed of but two guys.  It’s no surprise why this album took about three years to make.  The musicianship is incredible and the tracks are highly diverse and bear no shortage of dynamics.

Astral Necromancy will be available on digital download on June 15.  HIGHLY recommended for fans of Immortal, Dissection and Thulcandra!

 

https://hothmusic.bandcamp.com/album/astral-necromancy

https://www.facebook.com/hothmetal

http://www.hothmetal.com/

All of Hoth’s albums are available via Bandcamp……

 

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