Title: Hearts of the Hollow
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: 26 November 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
This band, after hearing the newest album, has left me with an impression of time and experience, developing their unique sound, and adding more to it. This is black metal, doom metal and other influences of metal and all of it reached into my ears and now, I am filled with the echoes of a band that has taken the time to sharpen their blade and make sure that any who hear them, will carry the slash as a scar of remembrance. What I’m meaning mostly is, this music cements itself and doesn’t let go, you will far remember Gurthang and this newest album will resonate with you for a long time to come.
Gurthang is Stormalv, as bass, A.Z.V. as vocals, and guitar, G.H., rhythm guitar, Vojfrost, keyboards and Turenn, drums. This band has seen a lot of activities from their first beginnings in 2010, releasing demos, compilations, singles, splits, 6 full albums and now the 7th. Last album was released in 2019, entitled “Ascension”.
So, there’s been a bit of time between that last album to this, and I am excited to check this out.
The first one is a prologue, “Vid de Coeurs” (Void of Hearts) heavy guitar, methodically strum and powerful. For me, cementing its presence of energy to be found as the first taste. Next, the keyboards, to playoff and twist between the guitar, with an atmospherical fading off of notes to finish.
Next, “Structures of Constriction”, picking up some doom as the start, leaden and ponderous, to explode out into paced guitar leads, and drums that continue to feed that heaviness. Bass is heard in this, and it’s awesome. Addictive guitar riffs and background keyboard to carry the heavy notes perfectly. Vocals come in, and start to slay with guttural intensity. Then, the tempo change, to black metal speed riffs, dissonant and raging. That’s all I’m going to say about this track, but there is much more, and my ears, are very happy to hear all that is in this recording.
“Spasms of Reflection” follow with drum beats and guitar riffs, nearly a heavy metal approach to this sound. Then it picks up speed and explodes in rapidly played guitar and drums. Almost a guitar wailing effect, and drums to master that section. Intense vocal energy and guitar and drums killing it amongst the keyboarding found in this. Track continues in this, and again, shows another side of Gurthang’s skill.
“Concealed Beneath”, slower paced start, to a lead guitar on fire. Addictive rhythm established in instruments to blow up and burn acres behind it, with speed riffs and drums. I’ve not much more to say, except I’m enjoying this a lot.
“In The Shrines of Self-Creation”, slamming guitars and doom-inspired, keyboards fill in and expand on this mood. Guitar riffing that is relentless, to black metal frenetic blasts, this track just explodes as you hear more of it.
“Hearts of the Hollow”, doom and beautiful gloom at beginning of this track. More of the amazing bass, drums and lead guitars. Vocals that unleash in coldness and rage. This metal treat continues throughout the track.
“The Apathy of Decadence”, dripping, doom in this. The tone of the track is weighty, and pulling you down into a miasma of shadow. You are lost, with the waves of darkness emanating and engulfing. What more is said about the guitar riffs, I can’t imagine more, except its phenomenal, dissonance and hate, hitting all the right places.
“Constriction” (reprise), more of the sinister toned guitar and keyboards, done to perfection. An outro, all instrumental. Crescendo and fall, in a rhythm and leaving the listener in echoes. Haunting.
Gurthang are powerful in their presence. It’s an album showcasing years of experiences also opening to other sound influences that only serve to build on their all-ready impressive range. I give an 8.5/10 Metal Marie
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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