This is a 20 minute-long demo, so there’s not a lot of time to spread atmospheric nastiness. Hegerøth set about their evil business without ado. Whistling sounds accompany furious dark beats and of course rasping vocals. Not sounding so original? Well, this kind of metal is all about atmosphere and the management and control of it, and in this department Hegerøth succeed. This black metal is all around and will capture you and suck you in. With its grim and urgent melody, I am alerted to the evil worlds of Old Man’s Child, Limbonic Art, Carpathian Forest and Khold. Hegerøth are from Poland and add that Polish twinkle which amounts to enveloping greyness. As these blackening clouds descend, all that is missing is the creaking door in this shadowy, sinister and violent scene. There is purpose, and whatever the opposite is of prissy, this is it. The nastiness drives on remorselessly and without compromise. The keyboards play an important part in the development of these atmospheres but the music is not symphonic. The vocalist screams as the measured instrumental violence runs through “For My Desires”. And then we hear the ringing of bells and the chorus as if something extremely nasty is about to happen. The lead guitar takes us into another exhilarating assault before the pace steps up more rapidly and ominously. Here we have four captivating chunks of turbulent black metal.

Dark and rancid as it is, “Spectral Fear” has life and richness. It captures its path without compromise and captures its own atmosphere. The framework is coherent but at the same time the twists and turns and the overwhelming dark mood make it an invigorating work to listen to. More, please.

(8 / 10 Andrew Doherty)