Ignis Gehenna – Baleful Scarlet Star (2017)

ignis-gehenna-coverIgnis Gehenna is a one-man band from Tasmania, Australia. Nihilifer (also known from the now split up Erebus Enthroned) is the mastermind behind this act that already counts a decade on its back. In this debut full length album he attempts to conjure a sinister darkness from beyond this world, and admittedly he managed it all too well.

The album starts with a slow, mesmerizing tune, and from the first minute you can tell this is going to be a good album. It doesn’t take long however to realize this is an understatement. Halfway through the first song and the raspy vocals are hooked on skin like snake fangs. Then enters the bass with a furious melodic riffing and instead of just filling the sound, it fills your brain with deep burning scars. And this is only the beginning; each track pushes the envelope just a bit further. The album is constantly shifting from mid-tempo groovy to Swedish-like melodic black metal with a natural ease, and sure has the riffs to support the act (the closing riff of Baleful Scarlet Star keeps playing in my head at random moments during the day).

The guitars are heavy and distorted and give the album the dreading sound it requires to drag you to hellish magical paths. The incredible (and quite audible) bass helps heighten the feeling of desolate desperation which tends to become the trademark of Australian extreme metal. The vocals are also amazing. Part venomous, part grandiose and with clear articulation are more than you may ask for. The drums are doing their best to push the album a little further into the masterpiece area. They won’t ruin a good riff with needless experimentations, but given the chance they go all inventive.

Production-wise, the album is outstanding. The songs are crafted with great care and keep the interest peaked at all times. You will literally be surprised at how fast time flies by when you listen to it. The sound is gloomy but not muddy; on the contrary, everything sounds clean and well separated. The well crafted mastering maintains a consistent atmosphere for the entire duration. The cover artwork is fantastic and only adds to a flawless album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Follow them at: https://www.facebook.com/ignisgehenna

SMT/ATF Episode 13: Australia

After a long break, time to get back to publishing the “SMT Archives”, the place where it all started. Remember, these are posts from 2011-2012…

People of earth, welcome back to yet another episode of Against The Fragmentaire, the first for 2012!

When it comes to New Years, Australia has the privilege to celebrate early and get to bed while the rest of the planet is still anxiously waiting for it. It is probably due to its isolation that is home to the most weird animals, rock formations and incomprehensible English dialect ever spoken…

Enough with the idle chit chat, let’s get to the meat!

 

When most metalcore bands are trying so hard to satisfy even the most short attention spanned average Joe of their fan base, there are still bands around that go all the other way around: try to captivate you with the weirdest soundscape ever imagined by man. Alchemist is the definition of what “against the fragmentaire” really stands for. Their music is captivating even if you don’t really like it, just because you HAVE to see what they are trying to do with it…

 

It was exactly two years ago when we were in Norway mixing our debut album, and on one of the studio tables there were some strategically abandoned business cards of a black metal band. The whole notion struck me a bit odd at first, but I took that little piece of paper and kept it in my wallet, only to re-discover it after getting back to Greece. What a way to remember to check some band huh? Astriaal did a very good move by printing those cards, because their black metal is a finely crafted one and it would be a shame to forget about them after having my job done.

 

On the subject of awesome black metal from Australia, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy only has to say: Pestilential Shadows. Their latest album “Depths” is in my top 10 list for 2011!

 

A new trend is on the rise in death metal. Forget about finely crafted riffs. Forget about perfect mixes. Forget about crystal clear productions. Portal is one of the few acts that make brutal music and go for it the rough way. Not everyone is going to like them. So what?

 

Next in line are Woods of Desolation, a melodic black metal act that will try to soothe the ears of Andrew after getting exposed to Portal’s “music”. Another excellent listen, another album in my top 10 list for 2011…

 

Be’Lakor is a melodic death metal band. Their music is a journey that will appeal to fans of Saturnus, only with a strong Amon Amarth accent. Enjoy them!

 

Thanks for reading and have a great and productive year everyone!