posted on 12/2008 By:
I'm admittedly not the biggest proponent of keyboards in metal. I was initially resistant to Seventh Son of A Seventh Son; I was part of a small crew that giggled through the Nocturnus set during the '91 Grindcrusher Tour; and as blasphemous as it might sound coming from a staunch black metal supporter, even some of the black & ivory tinkling from early Emperor received a cursory roll of the eyes from me. I was eventually able to curb my bias, due in a large part to albums such as Tales From the Thousand Lakes, but I'd still say I'm wary when it comes to headbanging keyboardists.
I'd imagine it's pretty obvious where I'm going with this: If you don't like orchestral keyboards in black metal, stay the fuck outta Hellveto's kitchen. The entirety of Neoheresy is bound together with heavy use of orchestral, symphonic keys, but I'm pleased to report they're more along the lines of an actual symphony, so no worries of having your ears assaulted with candyapple circus organs here. For reference sake, think Therion in scope: horns, timpani, grandiose strings, sweeping atmosphere and even the occasional chant all swirling together to create an air that's fairly reminiscent of a black metal soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings or something. It's really pretty impressive, actually, especially considering literally everything done here is the direct result of just one man.
I first came across Hellveto many moons ago after reading a glowing review of the debut 2002 LP, Autumnal Night. To be perfectly honest, that album left me less than impressed, so I've spent the last 6 years and NINE albums (!) ignoring the man's output. Well, apparently all those records have resulted in a much more honed black metal sound, because the actual metal of Neoheresy really works nicely. Brainchild L.O.N. relies quite a bit on a more relaxed, mid-paced riffing that lends itself well to the sweeping foundation laid down by the keyboards, and vocally he's a near dead-ringer for Drudkh's Thurios, so that's a definite selling point as well. And those who prefer to be blistered by their black metal, "Gdy Umiera Swit," "Milczace Sumienie" and closer "Sredniowieczna Egzekucja" all show ample evidence L.O.N. is no stranger to completely flailing behind the drumkit as well.
I'm duly impressed with Neoheresy. Occasionally the "soundtrack" atmosphere is laid on a bit thick, and at times I wish L.O.N. would let the more delicate guitar parts take more of a spotlight (the 2:20 point of opener "Taran", for example -- very impressively elegant), but these are relatively small criticisms in the grand scheme of this impressive work. If you can shoulder loads of orchestration and really dig Eastern European pagan-styled black metal, I'd advise you add this record to your collection.
Register to post comments.