#HasturianVigil Unveiling the Brac’thal

3 min read

Band: Hasturian Vigil
Title: Unveiling the Brac’thal
Label: Invictus Productions
Release date:  2 February 2024
Country: Ireland
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording 

One word: sinister. That’s the way this album starts, with an ominous tone, a prelude of something dreadful is about to happen. This is what I feel the first two minutes and a half of “Ikaath the Seven Horned”, the opener track. I am dragged to the darkest of underground worlds, where nightmares are real, and I can’t move a muscle, I’m paralyzed. There’s total darkness around, a growing threat, the calm before the fiercest of storms… 

And then, everything explodes. A wicked riff, that evil voice, drums blasting mercilessly… Lead guitar announces this won’t be a joyful ride, on the contrary, this is so promising in terms of darkness and evil!

The ten minutes that the opening song runs are a feast of shadows. The bass has a magnificent sound, the bedrock of this story, which wraps it all with consistency. The wicked voice is half rotten, half possessed by evil. The non-stop changing patterns in drums, woahh. The icy cold tone of guitars and the perfect harmonies they put together leave me all frozen. The subtle synths are of an eerie kind and are able to give me goosebumps… And of course, the lead guitar plays with frenzy and it has an urge to spread evil… 

What a way to start. And to continue. Because the following track, “Apparitions of Torment” is also dark and with that menacing feel. There are blast beats surfing above the buzz of guitars while the bass acts like the firm ground; cavernous and deep growled vocals; a clean and very skilled guitar solo… What mesmerizes me the most is the bass, I must admit I cannot “unhear” it, maybe I focus too much on it but its sound and predominance in the mix is fan-tas-tic!

The third song, “Nine Bellowing Hounds” has a speedy start, with drums on fire and then stopping when the riff is presented, just to speed up again while the lead guitar plays in a frenzy. All seasoned by the most evil screams I’ve listened to in a while. I like how the song changes its tempo to a more mid-paced one and here the drummer is the torchbearer. But mostly, this track has a good speed; at some passages percussion sounds more Death Metal oriented; other times is almost purely like Heavy Metal, along with guitars playing in this vein too, and another surprising solo, short but damn good! There are a lot of things running here, not purely Black Metal… and I love it. 

The last song, “Velvet Paintings Gaze” is another Black Metal hymn, starting slowly and building a calm ambiance, like a clean path to wander along through the forest. But these wicked vocals can freeze the blood in your veins. Until the path becomes more ambushed by changing the tempo and drums explode with a blast beat cascade, and you are dragged to the dark and gloomy depths. Tremolo riffs provide the right coldness, and by adding some “flourish” notes and variations to the guitar parts these guys take this track to another level, and you can’t avoid rejoicing that you were born at the right time to enjoy Hasturian Vigil’s Black Metal.

I can tell you that percussion in this album is a thing to notice, sometimes I just listen to it trying to separate from the rest and I reach the conclusion that every beat, each cymbal smash is put in the correct place, with precision, with high technique… without skip praising the rest, I must admit that the drummer stole my black heart.

Want some Black Metal not boring and monotonous at all, an album to get lost in and discover all its details? Then go for this one, I highly recommend it. 9/10  Sílvia

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9/10 Epic Storm
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