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  • Reviewed Faye Coulman

REVIEWED: Hadopelagial (Self-titled)

In a modern age where the worldwide web has all but eradicated the richly absorbing ceremony of spending countless hours scouring dusty record store shelves and crowded merch stands for fresh and enticing new musical discoveries, it’s always heartening to happen upon an act for whom there’s intriguingly little biographical info, press hype, or indeed information of any kind. But despite furnishing us with nothing more than the fundamental basics of their country of origin, year of formation and a prerequisite smattering of occult sigils, the German duo instantly make abundantly clear their blistering, brimstone-scorched talent from the get-go.

Pairing flesh-scorchingly demented aggression with impeccably executed musicianship spanning a diabolical repertoire of densely layered tremolo and crippling, subterranean groove, self-titled opener ‘Hadopelagial’ prominently displays its instantly identifiable second wave influences with audible pride and reverence. Through thick, intoxicating layerings of coldly abrasive tremolo and brimstone-scorched arpeggios whose lithe, elegantly snaking contortions instantly recall the diabolical grandeur of Dark Funeral, the duo display effortless ease in manipulating the various facets of their brutal and blackly grandiose sound. Note, in particular, the nimble-fingered flurry of lightning-paced arpeggios that richly embellish ‘Helios’s’ ceaselessly bludgeoning percussive core, or the deliciously suspenseful strains of elegantly unfurling distortion with which ‘The Cosmic Green’ is intelligently spliced. For it’s in these genre-twisting deviations and intriguing little atmospheric offshoots that, beyond the record’s more predictably blackened moments, we see the band’s own inimitable identity writ large with a blackly grandiose presence that is, at times, absolutely mesmerising.

But among the various ghoulish pleasures to be sourced from this skilfully executed debut, ‘Return of the Black Death’ is particularly awash with evidence of the two-piece’s ever-growing compositional prowess. Indeed, from generously expansive layerings of sultry, brimstone-scorched groove through to intricate flurries of lacerating fretwork that violently ignite in a frenzied implosion of battering hyperblasts, there’s an ingeniously calculating sense of purpose and design at work here - an already firm and accomplished grounding for the forging of increasingly masterful records to come. Here’s to new discoveries!


'Hadopelagial' is out now via Satanath Records

Order your copy now HERE

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