The Polish duo responsible for this “ceremony of black and rot supremacy” are Coffincrusher and Zepar ex members of Deadthorn, Mastiphal, Defekator and Nekrofukk (live). Having released a couple of demos, a split with Cadaveric Possession and a compilation they now are ready to release their debut album under Godz Ov War Productions. You can probably guess from the off that this is going to be an exercise in Christ-baiting blackness but Hell’s Coronation ascend the throne with a very doomy mindset and have got here by stealth rather than all out frontal attack.

We are eased in with a ritualistic dark ambient intro ‘Levitating In Tarry Fog’ and that is actually a damn good description of what it sounds like. Fog would actually be a fitting name for the band but some other Polish act got there first! It ritualistically oozes out the speakers with rumbling dread atmosphere and sets things up nicely for what is to come. I feel sorry for the bleating goat which no doubt does not survive this rite. The ‘Covenant Of Doom’ is verily signed in blood, a chalice is supped from, bones litter the cavern and the music lumbers out with slow orthodox mesmerism and melody at the helm. A gurgling croak is emitted and whereas others may go to crush and destroy this diabolical duo ensnare with a slow and morbid mist like approach which really gets under the skin. There’s nothing strenuous here even the vocals are rasped out slowly in a ceremonial black treacle like fashion, the blasphemies behind them subtle although at times somewhat deranged and babbling. One facet of this that becomes more prescient as the five main tracks continue is the hymnal keyboard sound which is mournful and adds a touch of Burzumic dungeon like synth to proceedings; this is all about the sinister atmosphere that the pair have conjured up.

Despite titles like ‘Mighty Black Flame’ we dwell in darkness here and there is no sudden roar of fire despite the fact you might be expecting one. Bass is ponderous and thick, drums are slowly pounded and the pair playing probably don’t even break into a sweat. This is the eerie sounds of the tomb, the dead awaking from slumber and stumbling caught in the mortuary drapes but its approach is definitely an intriguing one and draws the listener into its decaying folds. Flames crackle, a wolf howls, the goat’s carcass long picked clean and the moon is drawn down in ancient Beherit like worship by the guitar’s mournful call; the primitive vocal call suitably aged and craggy. I guess some may find the plod of the music lacking in attack but despite wondering what the band would sound like if they injected speed into things it is obviously not their modus-operandi. Even the Sanctity Of Christ is Crushed in a torturous fashion here drawing out the pain and keeping the deity alive to endure to the very last breath.

Hell’s Coronation have an interesting approach, one that straddles two distinct camps and hopefully will draw them together. If you are looking for something to leave you cold and evil on dark winter nights this will definitely do the job. There is only the darkness here. And your death…

(7/10 Pete Woods)