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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.