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Black Metal Jesus - 70%

Orlok666, March 25th, 2012

Opening with a montage of horror movie sounds before breaking into Danish band Horned Almighty's signature black and roll type of sound, this album, their debut full length really worked on the promise of their material on the Sargeist split, continuing the sound found on that recording while improving on it in a few ways.

Now usually I haven't been the biggest fan of the so called black and roll sound, Carpathian Forest could pull it off, so could Darkthrone (at times) but a lot of bands who work in this newer genre distinction lose a bit of the intensity of black metal and almost move in groove realms. Horned Almighty infuse a bit of grime into their attack, and have good vocals which keeps them from getting stale.

The riffing is made up of competent Darkthrone-esque riffing, mixed with elements influenced by 80's proto-black metal. It must be stated that they sometimes drift into that aforementioned groove feeling in certain songs, but it never gets to be like those old thrash and death metal bands who wanted to be Pantera or anything. They keep their songs short and to the point as well which helps the straying mind.

The drumming is pretty good mostly made up of d-beats and slower tempos, with some blasts mixed in. The drum production is organic which I like. The guitar tone is grimy but not super distorted and keeps the riffs audible. The bass is kept in the mix so you can't really lose sight of it, adding a low end rumble to the proceedings. I like the fact that the bass is very present, if you have a bass make sure to use it! The vocals are aggressive and distorted and are a high point of this release.

Although this album is far from being a genre defining type of release, or even a classic per say, it is indeed a quality listen, particularly if you're in the mood for a band who worships the old 80's bands like Bathory, Celtic Frost, Onslaught, etc. Also while many 80's oriented bands of today either mix black and thrash or copy directly the old black thrash stuff (see Aura Noir for the first and Deathhammer for the second) Horned Almighty go more for the rock aspects while mixing in elements that are more modern which helps to keep it from feeling like some sort of nostalgia act.

I have to say over all that this album impressed me to a certain point, although I prefer their songs on the Sargeist split for their raw intensity, this was a good starting point for them in terms of increasing their hostile evil to a full length.