Release DetailsLABEL Rundown Records
RELEASED ON 10/8/2005
Honey For Christ
The Darkest Pinnacle of Light
posted on 7/2006 By:
Back in the mid 80s/ early 90s, while popular thrash took a creative turn for the worse, a massive and criminally overlooked wave of aggressive metal with a strong traditional aesthetic simultaneously flourished and floundered in the underground (Omen and Liege Lord come to mind). Little by little, among the masses of blast beats and overused twin-harmonies of today, tough-as-nails artists with a passion for what truly makes metal metal continue to make their presences known in small, but powerful ways, and Northern Ireland’s Honey For Christ is one of those bands.
It takes a certain, specific sort of talent to be able to tap into a wide cross-section of metal appeal without sounding all over the place in the process. The Darkest Pinnacle Of Light is a solid, focused EP that takes bits and pieces of modern styles and throws a healthy dose of old-school vibe on top of everything. The production is a little on the dry side, which makes for a very crisp, clean listen that still retains necessary crunch and heft. I can picture an old-school Metallica or Trouble fan getting into this, as well as the casual Katatonia or Daylight Dies listener who also has a few (Lord Weird) Slough Feg and Manilla Road albums in their collection.
The title track is a dynamic, epic tune with tons of big power chords and chugging gallops, “Sorrow Descending” is an emotional roller coaster of a song featuring taught dual vocals wrought with heartbroken grief, and rollicking opener “Satan And Swastika” begins things on a thrashy, spacious note. The vocals in general are unbelievably refreshing to hear since they’re not exactly note-perfect, which brings a very real, genuine feel, in contrast to forced, overly-fabricated warbling some of the heavier metalcore bands are trying their hands at now, horribly, I might add. Andy Clarke sounds like a slightly less melodic Erik A.K. from Flotsam & Jetsam, but what Andy lacks in educated melody he more than makes up for with an earthy, passionately delivered performance. Caught in the right frame of mind on a day where everything makes you weepy, “Sorrow Descending”, and the equally thoughtful, poignant “Signs Of Bitterness” both show graceful power that hits square in the gut.
Honey For Christ are about as un-trendy as you can get in 2006. Gloomy and atmospheric without being full on doom, aggressive without dipping deeply into the vat of death and black metal, The Darkest Pinnacle Of Light proves heavy, traditional metal which rejects excesses, pomposity, and overworked song ideas in favor of something cohesive, memorable and substantial still has a place in the modern metal landscape. It’s not the tightest thing I’ve heard, but nothing here sounds sloppy, it sounds like three guys sitting in a room jamming instead of being pieced together in parts on a studio computer. I just wish this could have been a full-length, because as it stands, this is one of my favorite EPs of the year. Really, really solid...
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