Hellvetic Frost - Misanthropic Devotion
Art Of Propaganda
Black Metal
6 songs (39:56)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Black Metal a la Swiss is on the menu today, and whilst your first mouthful of this delicacy may have you choking due to the wholly familiar flavour, it’s fair to say that the aftertaste is worth the ordeal. A careful perusal of the ingredients may have you shaking your head in despair – Grim’s vocals are typical of the genre, somewhere between a growl and a yelp, and whilst his guitar playing is adequate, it never quite manages to hold your attention. Meanwhile, Pagan Warrior provides an inaudible bass and more guitars, whilst the curiously unnamed drummer does a capable job. Despite these rather plain ingredients, the chef does marvels with them – opening course Drowned By The Floods Of Blood starts off with a rather dull taste, before flourishing wonderfully into a near-spiritual flavour that carries you with it, being both typical of the genre yet doing its best to keep the interest of the veteran, interesting riffage providing a well-thought-out sensation.

With such a promising starter, it’s fair to say that the appetite is whet for the following courses, and the first of these, interestingly titled Zorn Der Seel’, rather fails to excite, as it’s more or less the previous course regurgitated, if one can use such a vulgar word. Ravaged Through Sorrow makes up for this somewhat with a delightful tartness, similar to following piece Remembrance Of Ancient Blood, which managed to keep this connoisseur’s interest without being particularly interesting, a rather remarkable feat.

Not feeling particularly enthusiastic about the next course, a five-minute-plus dirge by the title of Cursed And Damned In The Midst Of The Woods, I nonetheless thought of my dear readers and set about it with a forcedly hearty appetite, discovering in the process that however many times one chews a badly produced piece of Black Metal, one really has to be in a very forgiving mood for it to taste as excellent as it should. No doubt if one were in a log cabin in the middle of a great dark forest this repast would be more wholesome and I suppose the ‘atmosphere’ would help, but sampled in this brightly lit room, one can’t help but wish that the people preparing this supposed delicacy would take a little more care to produce something original.

By the time that extravagantly-titled finale Scheinbare Erlösung rolled up, I confess that I was starting to feel heartily sick of the whole experience, yet here’s a surprise: taking a lighter touch, this course was stretched out over eleven minutes and managed somehow to keep me amused despite it being nothing original whatsoever. Drawn-out it may well be, yet I found the experience pleasant enough and it helped to draw the blinds closed on the evening.

It’s hardly a respectable dinery, yet there’s something about Hellvetic Frost that keeps one returning to sample its fare in the hope that genius lies just around the corner. Alas, one feels that it will take much thought before this truly comes to be true, but for the meantime, unless you find yourself to be heartily sick of this style, then Misanthropic Devotion will keep you sated until something better comes along.

Killing Songs :
Drowned By The Floods Of Blood, Remembrance Of Ancient Blood, Scheinbare Erlösung
Goat quoted 62 / 100
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