Sometimes I watch bands live or hear a song or record and just think ‘what is the point in this?’ Truthfully, I find a disdain for anything that isn’t trying to at least tread some new ground, even if that new ground is old school worship, thus the endless paradox of being a reviewer. It’s pretty sad I suppose to get so disgruntled and I’m often branded as the ‘trve’ one for my musical rants and rabbles. Really though I’m just carving my own path like everyone else and part of that is taking things seriously, I can like Die Antwoord and still get annoyed about Nu-Metal, I’m just making my own rules.
Veiled in mystery come orthodox Black Metal newcomers Haxandraok. They promise Hexcraft mysticism and Qliphothic Sorcery ideas and themes that I particularly find interesting. I used to not much care for this level of theatre and viewed it in very much that light. Yet as the years have gone by and I myself have begun to dabble in the Occult I find my mind changing and my sway towards this brand of Metal all the more appealing. For many people enjoy this music, yet few understand it, to sound totally lame it can at the very least be educational to delve into these concepts and thus enters the band’s debut KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA through Ván Records.
Wasting no time at all comes The Temptress Of UD DA KAR RA, full of purist Black Metal themes and riffs which are elevated through some striking, haunting almost chanted vocals and dissonant pummelling riffs. Following on is Ba’al Zel Bul At The Gates Of NOX which save for the vocals has a real Behemoth feel to it in the instrumentation. Personally, I’m a fan of this and I also like how the vocals create an atmosphere that could be almost seen as meditative along with a powerful archaic outro that really helps to set the tone. It’s rather a strange release actually due to the fact that I feel like I’ve heard most of this before but perhaps not combined, thus creating quite a unique and enjoyable output.
Continuing with Behemoth influence comes Tower Sub Rosa, big strong riffs full of memorability encircle the listener even continuing into the thundering fray of the drums. The final two songs Lilith Unbound and La Sorciere Rogue are also both punchy orthodox tracks full of similar aforementioned vigour, with the later being a totally ritualistic affair devoid of Metal influence. Yet I must confess that the longer tracks towards the start of the album really lend themselves more to this sound than the shorter songs. Indeed I would very much like to see this band creating songs above and beyond the ten minute mark as I feel this would feed into their epic delivery.
For a first attempt KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA is exceptionally strong, it’s full of interesting ideas that are helping the evolution of Black Metal. If this is the first mark set by the band then I very much look forward to what is yet to come. I hope that Haxandraok will not become a one album wonder as I feel they display a great passion for interesting developments with the Extreme Metal underground. It is as if the band aren’t afraid to be bigger than they are, and I admire that.
(8/10 George Caley)