Saturday, December 22, 2012


Shemhamphorash - Dementia
Blackened Moon, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. Crossing My Hell
2. The Call
3. Bloody Falls
4. Immortal Realm
5. Matrunka
6. Mystical Ceremony
7. Shemhamphorash

This is a band hailing out of Spain, which is a country I seem to own few bands from.  Shemhamphorash is actually a very good band.  I was surprised when I put on “Dementia” because I was half expecting something below average for some reason.

The opening track “Crossing My Hell” is definitely the best song on this album.  It opens with some eerie sounds and in the background you can hear chanting of “shemhamphorash” and then it breaks into this beautiful acoustic sequence and then you’re assaulted with Immortal worship.  Think “At the Heart of Winter” style and you’ll pin down this songs main influence.  However, he uses a more traditional Black Metal vocal style rather than using Abbath styled vocals.  I think this gives the track a bit of its own feel rather than sounding like an absolute Immortal rip off.  The rest of the album isn’t as much of an Immortal influence, but you can still hear it throughout the album.  As I’ve said before there are a myriad of influences nowadays, so more often you get bands that sound like more than one.  So, at this point, I ‘m surprised they sounded like Immortal for an entire song!  Despite all this I still found “Dementia” to be a very good listen.  The songs are very well written and they seem to have a focus of influence coming from the Norwegian scene, since that’s what the tracks bear the most resemblance to, just listen to that opening guitar line on “Matrunka”.  Given their obvious talent for writing displayed on this recording I’m curious to see what they will do in the future, since these days the debut albums rarely say what the band will become because they are still figuring out their own sound.  Even if Shemhamphorash doesn’t figure out its own sound they’ll still be good musicians and their albums will likely still be worth listening to, I can’t say the same for other average bands.

The booklet doesn’t have any lyrics or anything so I can’t comment on their writing ability, but maybe that was the whole point in not printing them.  I’ve already written up a rather lengthy paragraph on the word “shemhamphorash” in my Aeba review on what it means for their album “Shemhamforash.”  For a brief overview for those who don’t want to go and read the Aeba review, it’s a Hebrew word and means “the explicit name” or something along those lines, it refers to the true name of God.  Anyway, LaVey picked up on it and now it has something to do with modern Satanism and the Satanic Church.  I can’t find any evidence on whether or not Shemhaphorash, the band, has anything to do with LaVey Satanism, so that’s a good sign.  I, honestly, don’t want it in Black Metal, nor do many others.  It has no place, just like Christianity has no place in this genre, or this world as far as I’m concerned.  So that’s where I stand on the whole subject.

So what’s the final verdict on this album?  It’s definitely worth hearing, but I wouldn’t say it’s a major priority to get right away.  If you’re just in search of well written Black Metal and you seem to have exhausted a lot of other avenues it’s probably time to pick up a band like Shemhamphorash, they won’t disappoint you.  Judging by their writing ability they should be getting a lot more recognition in the Spanish scene over some of the other bands that exist there.

Sorry... couldn't find any video samples.

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