Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hell Militia

Hell Militia - Canonisation of the Foul Spirit
Total Holocaust Records, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Burning Human Pigs
2. Torture of the Saints
3. Black Arts of Crime
4. Prophecy from the Mutilated Children
5. Dead Children's Choir
6. Black Fucking Cancer
7. Blood from the Pig
8. Goathorne
9. Ritual
10. Years Ago (Alice Cooper Cover)

I think we can all easily understand why I decided to purchase the Hell Militia album.  It’s French Black Metal featuring Meyhna’ch, members of Arkhon Infaustus and Temple of Ball, obviously something I will have to acquire and listen to.  After hearing Malicious Secrets, I didn’t think any of his other side projects could rival the mighty Mütiilation, but Hell Militia stands right beside Mütiilation in all its ugliness and power.  While Hell Militia doesn’t have any of those enthralling memorable rhythmic pieces that Mütiilation has, they do have a raw and more powerful sound than Mütiilation.

Now I should say credit where credit is due at this point and say that Meyhna’ch is really just the vocalist for this group, I have a feeling that T. Persecutor is the main brains behind the actual music and what an ingenious musician he is.  I can see one hundred percent why Meyhna’ch would agree to sing for such a project.  Upon hearing their initial assault of “Burning Human Pigs,” the song opens with guitar feedback in your right ear, and then the haunting rhythm section comes in on your left.  The two eventually play this slow dirge together preparing you with the calm before the storm, so to speak.  Hell Militia then launches into the same rhythm but played much faster this time drilling the pure ugliness of their masterpiece into your foul human brain.  Then the band hits a split second stop and Meyhna’ch announces “Burning Human Pigs,” as if it needs to be reiterated for us how much disdain this band has for the filthy species.  Meyhna’ch’s vocal performance on this album is slightly different from that in Mütiilation, and the change is very welcome for this project.  For when I initially heard the opening to “Burning Human Pigs” I was curious how the standard Mütiilation vocal performance would sound over this music, but Meyhna’ch shifted his approach a little.  He doesn’t really have that spoken yet somewhat harsh blended vocal approach on here.  In fact he actually has a slightly more traditional approach, but still unique and bizarre in its own right.  Needless to say it ultimately blended perfectly with what Hell Militia was trying to instill unto the world.

“Canonisation of the Foul Spirit” brings you through a whirlwind of haunting and destructive Black Metal.  Most of the songs have quite a fast pace, but we slow down for songs like “Black Arts of Crime,” an interesting change of pace after two assaulting tracks, since most bands will slow down in the middle or later tracks.  However, Hell Militia keep an interesting pace shifting in and out of that blast beat oriented Black Metal and that slow haunting dirge sections, so it keeps the listener fairly on the edge of their seat for what’s coming next.  Although we do get to see some of the old Meyhna’ch vocally in the following two tracks of “Prophecy from the Mutilated Children” and “Dead Children’s Choir.”  “Dead Children’s Choir” has one of the best opening guitar parts I’ve ever heard with this incredibly haunted slow sequence, by the way.

Upon listening to this album I find myself thinking that Meyhna’ch should have this drummer play in Mütiilation rather than programming the drum lines himself, granted that the drummer can handle his double bass intensive programming.  It would probably add that extra organic element into Mütiilations sound that I think would go perfect with it.

The album finally comes to a close with a very bizarre track called “Years Ago,” which is an Alice Cooper cover.  A strange ending, but honestly very perfect for what we all just went through as listeners.  It’s not really a Black Metal track and I don’t think it’s actually by Hell Militia, but it’s got this weird clean guitar line that sounds something like it would be from a children’s rhyme.  Then Meyhna’ch kicks in with a very strange vocal performance to match, mostly this is nearly impossible to describe, but it adds this strange ghostly element to the end of the album.  The funny part about the way this ultimately closes is that they purposely make the music sound like it’s skipping in the studio.  So that way no matter what kind of CD player you use, it will sound like the CD is damaged and is skipping.  An ingenious maneuver by Hell Militia to view the masses.  By the way, I know for a fact that this is what they did because I compared my copy and my friends copy and they were exactly the same.  A well chosen outro track, if it is indeed not actually by Hell Militia. 

“Canonisation of the Foul Spirit” much to my disappointment didn’t have the lyrics printed in the booklet.  I was truly looking forward to reading them as soon as I saw the title to this album, but alas I did not get my wish.  However, I did get one of the coolest booklets and album layouts I’ve ever seen courtesy of T. Persecutor himself.  The booklet is printed on this rather gritty matte paper that even exemplifies Hell Militia’s musical approach.  In the booklet are pictures of the “band,” and by pictures of the band I mean graphically modified pictures of priests or nuns.  It’s really well done and gives off this presence that it’s like Christianity with the masks removed, thus the title “Canonisation of the Foul Spirit.”  It gives off this incredible image of the filth that Christianity truly represents to the world, but Hell Militia deal mostly with misanthropy in general.  I definitely give T. Persecutor praise for his unique approach to this, he even took the care to figure things out right down to the paper they chose to print the booklet on.

Hell Militia is one of the more perfect visions of harsh Black Metal this world could ever really hope to see.  It’s raw, it’s ugly, it’s disgusting, it’s hateful, it’s fast, it’s brooding, and it’s everything a real Black Metal fan wants to hear in his music.  Thus I have no choice but to canonize this album a total fucking must have.

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