Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hades (Almighty)

Hades Almighty - The Pulse of Decay
Psycho Bitch, 2001
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

1. 216 / Cataclysmic
2. Submission Equals Suicide
3. The Pulse of Decay
4. The Antichrist Inside
5. Vendetta Assassination
6. Apocalypse
7. Razor

Hades Almighty has had a tough going of things as of late and I have followed this band since they released “Again Shall Be…”  They’ve changed quite a bit over the years and it has been about five years since their last album.  It was finally re-released in 2005 because prior to this the original was on some small label and I even had trouble getting it in the U.S.  I have come to expect great things from Hades Almighty over the years and this release is by far no exception.  They have completely revamped and revolutionized their sound.  Not that I was getting tired of their old sound, mind you, but it is always interesting to see how a band chooses to experiment.  There are some parts of the old Hades sound that I will miss, but they’ve managed to put together something incredible in the end in my opinion.

The first and most obvious change is the vocal performance.  I will honestly miss Janto’s usual unique vocal style from the past, but it honestly wouldn’t fit with the music on this album.  I actually considered what it might sound like with his higher-pitched wail, but it is not applicable very often during this album.  I’ve listened to this around four times now and I believe overall the vocal performance is quite excellent.  You can hear the layering immediately, but upon closer listens more subtle layers come out of the woodwork.  Janto and the rest of the band have managed to put together some beautiful arrangements overall.  The only part that I thought was a bad idea was on the intro to “Apocalypse,” but that’s just in the intro and the rest of the song is great.

Hades Almighty has indeed gotten a lot heavier musically and more technical.  “Submission Equals Suicide” is a perfect case in point of the increased weight behind the musical tone.  A lot of this may have come with the production, which is much higher grade from “Millenium Nocturne.”  The songs still have their same slow brooding feel, but Hades Almighty has added a serious degree of power and attack behind their compositions.  Furthermore they are better thought out and thanks to the excellent production I hear every instrument perfectly.  There’s even a lot of excellent bass work in the songs courtesy of Janto, who also seems to have improved on his instrument.  Remi’s drum work is more varied than in other releases, which makes it a lot more interesting and compliments the newer guitar style better.  This album is probably a lot faster in comparison to “Millenium Nocturne,” but I think that’s a good thing and at times it is also a lot darker, especially with some of Jørn’s guitar work.  Lyrically they seem to have dropped the whole Viking theme aspect, which is alright because I don’t picture Norse Mythology as being very suitable for this style of music.  The music at times is more advanced progression from “Millenium Nocturne.”

Dark Essence Records, 2004

8. Generation Murder - Rape
9. Cyber Alchemist
10. Each Dawn I Die (Manowar Cover)

I’ve managed to acquire the re-release with the bonus tracks and I can see why the two previously unreleased original songs didn’t fit on this album at all.  “Generation Murder-Rape” and “Cyber Alchemist” would have completely thrown off the feel of “The Pulse of Decay.”  Granted they’re good songs, “Generation Murder-Rape,” being the better of the two.  As an added treat or blemish depending on how you look at it, Hades Almighty has decided to cover a Manowar song.  I have come to this conclusion about Manowar based on this.  Even when a good band like Hades Almighty covers your song, it still sucks.  Therefore, there is no actual hope of making a Manowar song sound good.  Right now I’m wishing Manowar didn’t exist because this is the close to a great album… however, I will base my opinion on the first seven tracks as if the Manowar song didn’t exist.  I honestly can’t believe how idiotic Manowar’s lyrics are… not to mention how bad their music sounds in the great scheme of things.  Just go and listen to “Submission Equals Suicide” after hearing the Manowar cover to alleviate the pain.  “Submission Equals Suicide” is without a doubt the best song on this album and a music video is also included on the re-release.

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