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The True Return of Darkness And Evil - 100%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, December 11th, 2007

Up until the satanic mastermind Paul Ledney decided to resurrect Profanatica, the black metal underground seemed like all was lost. Not entirely lost because you had such acts as Funeral Mist, Drudkh, Deathspell Omega, Archgoat, etc. etc. putting out quality releases that definitely out shined so much disposable crap, but it definitely felt like something was missing and/or not precisely there. Paul Ledney stepped out of the shadows and came back with Profanatica and threw the three-headed beast of black metal a huge bone it could gnaw upon for the next few eternities, that meaning not only the excellent “The Enemy Of Virtue” discography collection but as well as the proper full-length “Profanatitas De Domonatia”. But with Profanatica finally getting the credit it was due, a few comrades began to wonder….What about Havohej? If Profanatica were a huge black obsidian rock found in a cave waiting to be unearthed, then Havohej is something all-together different. Havohej are the band you would find in the 9th circle of hell completely devoid of God’s presence. For much of the later part of the 90’s Paul Ledney juggled mainly between the two in competition for which could be the most down-right blasphemous, ugliest, rawest, black metal act one could listen to. Havohej releases such as “Dethrone the Son of God” and the “Man & Jinn” E.P. became instant classics. Suffice to say, Paul Ledney did decide to bring back Havohej and still more questions….would Havohej sound the exact same? Would Paul Ledney suffer from burn-out due to his evil vokills? Would he throw something out for the fuck of it just to cash-in on the name? Could he not possess the truly unholy flame that he set back in the 90’s?

Yes and no. Havohej come back with something that even MORE darker than any previous Havohej release. “Tungkat Blood Wand” actually is an excellent progression in the minimalism that Havohej is known for. But at the same time it’s a grand departure from what we’ve come to expect from Paul. Gone are the blast-beat programmed drums, and guitars. Havohej have taken a complete left turn into more experimental territory. “Through The Gates Of Umu” sounds like the gates of hell are opening and lasts for what seems like forever. Howling, moans, rumbling, noise, etc The drums are extremely slow and dense. Guitars are present but in a warped, deranged sense that everything seems to melt into a hallucinatory state of pure agony. The only guitar you will find here is a vague eerie-like melody that is creepy sounding further inducing a satanic acid trip. Paul vocals? Fuck. This guy can do no wrong. He still sounds like the possessed demon that made him well-known. Just this song alone take up the entire A side. Side B starts off with “Tungkat Blood Wand” which continues the tormenting black noise….starting off with something more akin to black metal…..the sounds of cold freezing winds. Fuck Immortal, they couldn’t hold a candle to this. Paul steps back in and lets forth agonizing screams. Drums are a notch up in tempo. I’m sure if one were to do a cover of this song, the riffs would enhance it ten-fold. “Spirit Voice” is again much like the previous song with Paul screaming his head off to what sounds like he’s saying “Murder!!!”.

I can tell this will cause a shitload of controversy in the black metal scene in general. People looking for something cliché, redundant, monotonous, overdone, look else where. People that want to listen to something that you have to give your entire attention to and actually FOCUS on the music itself. All in all, this is BETTER than 99.9% of what is being pushed in the underground. In total, "Tungkat Blood Wand" is NOT like previous Havohej releases, but at the same time a piece of black droning minimalistic noise that fucks with your mind.