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The Torch Is Finally Passed! - 93%

Visionary, July 30th, 2005

Ok I have rewritten this review and originally gave the band a score of 89% with the only setback being that it gets boring if listened to often. Well I started listening to this CD a lot lately and it has really stood the test of time.

Hell Militia consists of various members from the French black metal elite coming from such acclaimed bands as Arkhon Infaustus, Antaeus, and Mutiilation. Being a black metal super group expectations are really high. Now onto the review.

Finally after such a long wait and multiple attempts by various bands the torch is passed that was once held by De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. I remember a couple years ago people were raving about the Frost (UK) debut being the new DMDS, while it had many similarities and had some of its own tricks it did not manage to stand the test of time. In fact it didn’t even manage to hold me for more than 3 tracks. DMDS had the right idea but it failed to be anything really great due to having some major flaws.

One of the largest flaws was the vocalist, Attilla. He sung with demented screams that sounded cool and all but it id not fit at all with the music. Willy has managed to build off of Attilla’s vocal style. He sings with Screams that are even more sickening and demented and he has actually managed to fit it with the music perfectly.

Buzz-saw guitars surrounded by a very filthy production along with Willy’s ice cold wails produces the atmosphere that DMDS longed for so much but fell short of. The riffs being played are very heavy and have many similarities to the riffs from DMDS except they are played even tighter. At times the drums are pushed forward into the mix pushing the guitars back into the sea of filth producing a windstorm effect which really builds up the intensity.

Though this is not the most technical or have as much going on as many other black metal releases; what it does it does well. Modern production in black metal sacrifices depth to the music and for a band to do this and win me over they better manage to produce some excellent stuff and Hell Militia does with flying colors.

This album is what so many bands have tried to achieve in the past, retain the essence of hatred, evil and darkness and at the same time have a modern production. Currently I only see Deathspell Omega and Ondksapt with the capability of achieving this and both bands have come close but have yet to reach that status.

I order anyone who likes their black metal raw or not raw to go buy this release now before it is sold out.