Helleruin is marching onward! Gaining more and more appraisal and popularity since the release of the first demo, followed by the excellent full-length “War Upon Man” and a demo with De Gevreesde Ziekte, Carchost (who is playing all instruments) is back with another spawn of this excellent Dutch underground act. Both on his records as well as live Helleruin gains more and more momentum and is a force to be reckoned with. And deservedly so because “Devils, Death and Dark Arts” is a sublime conjuration.
You can expect devil fuelled black metal injected straight out of the nineties. No experimentation, no shizzles and frizzles, just pure dark art in vain of Taake and Gorgoroth and even a pinch of Cirith Gorgor. I have mentioned it before: music doesn’t have to be original as long as it contains solid tracks. And with “Devils, Death and Dark Arts” this is certainly the case with its six haunting tracks spawned straight out of the pits of hell itself.
The album has a powerful beginning with “The Flame Still Burns Within Me,” which contains great dark melodies, a superb bassline, and the excellent throat of Carchost. Wow! The Devil himself must be enthralled to put this record on after hearing such a great blasphemous anthem. The well-placed acoustic guitar swells over in a furious mid-section where all demons out of hell are conjured, destroying everything in its path. It shows the craftsmanship of Carchost and makes sure you are on the edge of your seat.
But no rest for the wicked because after this the title track “Devils, Death and Dark Arts” blasts your speakers (or earphones) into smithereens with absolute aggression. Follow up “It Befalls the Night with Doom” is in the same vein and has some really good melodies and it feels like the nineties have never left (and I mean this in a positive way).
The pulsating almost Industrial-like instrumental “All Shades of Ferocity” sees to it that the listener has a welcome breather and gradually builds up momentum and darkness. It paves the way for the venomous “Riddles in Devil’s Tongue,” which shows unbridled black metal passion. And after that, it gets even better. The album ends with the lengthy death dealer “Hymn of Life and Death,” concluding this album in a fitting manner. Just listen to the haunting, melancholic piano section before the song bursts in flames. It’s an epic, brutal and haunting track that keeps you on the edge of your seat during the entire ride.
With a fitting production that is dark, filthy and gritty yet doesn’t leave any details out this is one of the best black metal releases in 2023. New Era Productions has done right by keeping Helleruin in its stable. This album is pure devilish fun to listen to and shows that the Netherlands, as well as this act itself, is more than capable of spawning quality extreme metal acts. You can purchase this album blindly. I have witnessed Carchost with a host of fellow musicians playing his dark arts live and let me tell you: it is well worth attending. So first buy this album and then get off your ass and see Helleruin live!
Rating: 8,6 / 10
Label: New Era Productions
Release date: 16 June 2023
Review made by: Erik
- The Flame Still Burns Within Me
- Devils, Death And Dark Arts
- It Befalls the Night With Doom
- All Shades Of Ferocity
- Riddles In Devil’s Tongue
- Hymn of Life and Death