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Demons dancing on the bones of sinners - 95%

HviteGuden, January 24th, 2023

Despite the fact of Denmark having a less amount of cult black metal bands in comparison to its neighbours like Norway or Sweden, sometimes the Danish underground produces huge talents. The young project Halsbrand is a one of such artists. Its debut full-length album “De der tæmmer ilden” is a true gem of black metal.

The album strikes with full force right after the mysterious intro. “Blege Hænder” is a severely wicked composition. In terms of style it’s pure black metal, technically without anything unusual, yet the melody carries a special mood, extremely disturbing. The ominous atmosphere expands further and further in the progress. Artistic and expressive screaming elevates levels of possession. Pay attention to how intense the vocals become at the end of “Blege Hænder” and on “Støv og roser”. Halsbrand virtually shows a listener a picture of demons dancing on the bones of sinners in the pits of Hell.

Thus, the album is extraordinary despite the fact of sticking to the classical black metal sound. However, there’re some elements, which are less common for the сanonical black metal. The shimmering keyboards start to be used frequently since the ending of “Støv og roser”, they establish hypnoticism. From “De der hader solen” the music of Halsbrand demonstrates even more ritualistic side, as it becomes more profound and melodic. Since “Slangerne I tæven” Halsbrand starts to use the deep-sung clean vocals and death metal growls. “Blåøjede dæmoner” has grandiose passages with epic clean singing. Occasionally it’s possible to recognize influences of the Middle-Eastern music, if not some shamanic soundscapes. Moreover, the diversity is supplied by electronics. Interludes are rooted in dungeon synth and industrial. All those facts indicate that Halsbrand sounds fresh, while the project remains convincing by the standards of black metal.

It’s not that easy to find a comparison to “De der tæmmer ilden”. It’s possible to hear some similarities with Deathspell Omega, closer to its 2004 version, or with Dødsengel, be it intentional or not. In any case, Halsbrand has its own style. “De der tæmmer ilden” is a one of the best extreme works of the recent times.

Originally written for Rate Your Music: