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Dictators - 83%

Felix 1666, May 15th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2011, 12" vinyl, Debemur Morti Productions

A lot of (black) metal formations have the intention to create a devilish atmosphere. Some are successful, some are less satanic than a nappy full of baby shit. Admittedly, such a temporary garment can develop an intensive smell that gives you the feeling to stand at the gates of hell. But at the end of the day, it is a manageable situation. Fortunately, Haemoth have nothing in common with nappies. They generate exactly the aura they wanted to create. While using a well proven concept, the French misanthropes open the album with a menacingly growing intro. Its vicious notes lead directly into hell. "Slaying the Blind" has everything it needs to destroy all symbols of God. For good reasons, one might say that this constitutes a very stereotyped opening of a black metal full-length. Yet this storm of hate is just the beginning. Haemoth are the sulphurous emissaries of the devil himself.

Based on a thick production whose almost painful intensity demonstrates once again the bestiality of adequately recorded black metal, the songs offer a mix of the elements which are typical for the sub genre. The extremely distorted voice shocks with the pleasant aura of a dental drill, while the guitarist is in search of the most ferocious tones that he can elicit from his instrument. Maybe this description indicates that the duo delivers pure noise, but this is not the case. Instead, Haemoth integrate the necessary quantum of musicality. It is naturally only a pinch of melodies and sometimes the songs border on industrial sounds. Yet it cannot be ignored that there are a few melody lines that emerge from the violent chaos. "Son of the Black Light" surprises with a wistful beginning, but it does not take long until the band starts the next malevolent onslaught. While achieving the highest level of harshness, Haemoth wallow in their self-designed inferno. It is almost a pity that a few atmospheric parts give the listener a breathing space. Yet one cannot ignore that hypnotizing, Burzum-esque parts like those of the abyssic (yet unfortunately overlong) closer "...And Then Came the Disease" do not lack of profound malignancy and depth. Doubtlessly, the ultra-brutal face of Haemoth offers only one facet of their musical vision. The guys know that there are different ways to kill the religious enemies and all of them can be very efficient.

I really regret it, but I am no expert for the French underground scene. Therefore, I do not know whether this album belongs to the most vehement releases from "la grande nation". Anyway, there can hardly be a doubt that Haemoth have penned a merciless full-length, although two or three songs should have been designed with a shorter playtime. However, the guys follow strictly their dictatorial strategy in order to make their position clear. Do not dare to contradict them, resistance is futile. True black metal musicians do not leave a stone unturned until they have achieved the unrestricted world domination. Okay, this sounds rather ironic, but one thing is for sure. The uncompromising attitude of Haemoth deserves respect and I hope that this was not their last longplayer.

Haemoth – In Nomine Odium (2011) - 80%

Asag_Asakku, May 31st, 2012

"No, I'm not resentful. I just hate ..." When an album begins with these words, uttered by a gloomy voice, we know we're going to spend a dirty quarter of an hour. In fact, its forty-four minutes of pure brutality that offers us the French band Haemoth, releasing their first full-length in seven years, called In Nomine Odium (2011). After a split, an EP and two compilations, this album marks a revival in the band's career in the obscure realm of orthodox black metal.

If anger, hatred and suffering could be materialized, I think we would discover a huge load of them in this record. From beginning to end, with a guitar and a voice scratched and saturated, the group hits with a music of rare violence. What strikes the listener immediately is the sound quality that manages to combine power and distortion, without these two elements affecting each other. This creates a stifling and aggressive atmosphere, normal or desired for this kind of music.

Odium opens the butchery, in a crescendo leading to the first blasts of Slaying The Blind. Ouch! Powerful and aggressive, this title sets the stage for the future. If Demonik Omniscience is fast, the band takes a break (well, kind of) with the instrumental Spiritual Pestilence, played mid-tempo. They go back looking for blood with Disgrace, but the pinnacle is achieved by Son of the Black Light, best song of the album, reminiscent of the early efforts of groups now well established, such as Watain! ... And Then Came the Decease concludes the album, a slow, noisy and unhealthy death.

I often criticized groups who practice orthodox black metal because they put form over substance, thereby eliminating the special breath that makes this style extremely aggressive. Haemoth do not fall into this trap and gives us an excellent album, as well as permanent damage to the eardrums. 8/10

Originally written for metalobscur.com

Solid, Satanic Black Metal - 75%

Odovacar, December 23rd, 2011

Black metal is a curious beast; it can be a very conservative sub-genre and at the same time one of the most diverse types of music to be composed. Bands like Enslaved, Dimmu Borgir, and Deathspell Omega have shed most of their black metal roots in favor of something different, whereas, Darkthrone, Dark Funeral and Mayhem have remained relatively unchanged, keeping the usual fast-paced and lo-fi quality of evil that permeates within. The duo from France (eponymous guitarist, bassist, and screamer Haemoth and skinsman Syth) have stuck fairly close to the original template of black metal while adding their own embellishments.

Not all of what Haemoth composes is repetitive and extremely fast – opener “Odium” lulls the listener in with an evil, dissonant motif that slowly builds into a climax of the second track, “Slaying the Blind.” Haemoth unleashes the fury of Hell with a nearly 20 second scream and continues on with a vocal delivery that reaches deep into the circles of Hell. Early Emperor minus the symphonic bombast is prevalent throughout with a short break into thrash territory around the 2:14 mark. This is all tied up into an ambient soundscape that invokes a feeling of wandering through a long abandoned dungeon that has seen many atrocities.

It’s a common practice on In Nomine Odium that Haemoth sets up such a mood not only in the aforementioned blazing tracks, but also on slower tracks such as instrumentals “Spiritual Pestilence” and “Son of Black Light” that have an Emperor and, surprisingly, Pink Floyd-type arpeggio to open it up.

The production is higher quality than most black metal; the guitars are still saturated in distortion and reverb that could easily summon Hell’s demons. If Haemoth‘s goal is contribute to humanity’s ruin, then I feel they have done an admirable job with In Nomine Odium. While it’s not terribly shocking with the numbness of black metal setting in after so many years, they do know how to harness their misanthropy for a solid black metal album.

Originally written and posted for Teeth of the Divine.