Hellveto - Neoheresy
Pulverised Records
Pagan Orchestral Black Metal
6 songs (35'08")
Release year: 2008
Pulverised Records
Reviewed by Alex

Neoheresy is one of those records when you absolutely don’t know what to expect yet stumble over something most unusual. Turns out Polish lone-man LON has been at it for over a decade, but our paths never crossed. Therefore, I can’t form an educated opinion about Hellveto earlier albums, but Neoheresy teaches many other one-man bands a lesson that crafting your art alone does not mean that your art has to be shoddy.

Hellveto music on Neoheresy is impossible to categorize. Pagan? Orchestral? It bears all of those attributes, including blackened, but most importantly it is extremely layered and genuinely involved. Tribal percussion providing the steady backbone, ornate with little bells and whistles, the compositions on Neoheresy ebb and flow with multiple synth layers of carefully crafted orchestration. This is no wimpy static Lord Wind, however, the heavy guitars are audible and often pushed to the forefront. The tension in these songs builds up constantly, from the moment Taran begins, only to release at the very end. Periodic moments of clarity arise most unexpectedly, heaviness and layers fading, pushed into the background. LON’s vocals are mostly shouts, laments and incantations of some possessed shaman, fully bringing about the atmosphere of pagan trance. The closest analogy I could think of was Thy Catafalque with a little less theme variation and less reliance on mechanical rhythms.

The album does not last long, only 35 min, and it never gets tedious. The novelty does not wear off and the more you listen the more you want to do it again. This is, in part, because each composition has its own identity. Taran comes out at you like a thousand hooves army. Gdy Umiera Swit begins aggressively with blastbeat, but has its own quiet moments. Herezja and Milczace Sumienie incorporate some authentic native string work. Choragiew Ktora Splonie is a mysterious kolyada – Christmas carol-like singing in Ukraine, Poland and Russia which has its roots in ancient Slavic tradition. The closer Sredniowieczna Egzekucja finishes Neoheresy off with the feeling of infatuated unexplained euphoria, although the title suggests medieval execution. The song’s harp sounds depict borderless terrains colliding with sculpted guitar solo and strict bass.

Song titles are obviously in Polish, so one can assume that the lyrics are too, with the album paying heed to the Slavic culture (this is strictly a guess). Yet, at the same time, Neoheresy could be playing out in North America, at the Indian powwow, or any other genuine ethnic locale. It just has that primal power to depict the unyielding tribal spirit.

Killing Songs :
Taran, Herezja, Choragiew Ktora Splonie
Alex quoted 83 / 100
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