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Hakuja, the solo-project of the now independent ex-Funeral Elegy member, has created his very own unique black metal magnum opus. I do not use the term Black Metal loosely, as most unique "black metal" bands tend to stray away from the original black metal sound. However, this is black metal in it’s purest form. Then what makes it unique, you ask? Well, originating from Japan, Hakuja creates black metal with an atmosphere like no other, with song and chord structures used in a Japanese neo-classical manner, providing a fresh and new approach to the sound of black metal. Anyways, enough of an introduction, now unto the music itself...
“Legacy” first starts with “Dropped on Inferna", which is where you begin to hear the original sound of Hakuja. With neoclassical scales flying around in an onslaught of chords and fast drumming, you soon realize that the music has a very unique balance. Like an impenetrable ocean, you hear the harshness of the ocean waves, yet the calmness of it’s tides. This song clocking in at 5:11, stays at a fast pace throughout the entire piece, only interrupted by a few mid paced sections to balance the entire song. “Amakakeru” shortly follows “Dropped on Inferna” keeping the same style and pace.
Afterwards, “Legacy” begins to travel down a slower path, with the song “Baal”. This instrumental is a masterpiece. Full of sorrowful melodies played in a ensemble of dual guitars and bass. Which might I add, that the bass adds an incredible element to the music (especially in this song). Hardly ever playing just to back the guitars , the bass plays its own melody constantly throughout this song.
The next couple of tracks, “Black Desire” and “Kanata” both follow the same path as the previous three which to be later accompanied by the track “Dew of Blood” This happens to be my personal favorite off of “Legacy”. Immediately starting off the song with blast beats and fast chord progressions, you’ll notice again the incredible bass work playing beneath this ocean of sound. Vocals are also a standout element for this track. Unlike most of the previous fast-pace songs off of this demo, “Dew of Blood” begins to slow down after the three minute mark, although only to speed right back up again.
To finish “Legacy” off, we are presented with “Rasen”. Probably the slowest song on the CD, “Rasen” finally allows you to relax from this behemoth of a demo. However, it does speed up during the last moments of the song to add the finishing touches.
In short, if you are looking for traditional black metal played with a unique sound and atmosphere, then no look further. Hakuja’s “Legacy” is your answer.