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Album Reviews : Hermh – Cold+Blood+Messiah

By on May 4, 2009

Flicking through the latest delivery of promos, Hermh’s latest instantly grabbed my attention, and not only because it appeared to actually be a genuine extreme metal album amongst the horde of core-tinted releases that seem to fly my way. The fantastic artwork alongside very fitting song titles presented ‘Cold+Blood+Messiah’ as an album with a well-defined sound and theme, ultimately being a package rather than just a collection of songs. And that’s precisely what it is.

This is (almost) forty minutes of heavily thematic, symphonic black metal that seems to conjure up images of the 1999 film ‘The Mummy’ in my head. Chock full of chanting, rough spoken vocals and sinister sounding keys, there is a real feeling of authenticity here. It’s dark, often haunting and the anti-religious imagery featured in the artwork represents it perfectly.

Now, a problem with bands so heavily based around one sound is that it can take focus away from the actual music. Not the case here. This is an extremely thick, complicated but bloody well written album. The songs don’t follow conventional song structures, jumping between ferocious black metal and the more theatrical passages at seemingly haphazard moments, but it all works. Quite often, the keys or guitars will be heading along quite a different path than the rest of the music, but again, it all works. It’s chaotic but clearly well planned, with not a single filler riff or keyboard fill anywhere to be found. The musicianship is top notch with the guitars almost touching over into tech-death territory at times and the frenzied drumming being hard to fault. Bart’s vocals are spectacular and his harsh black metal screams, rough spoken parts and deep choirs are all consistently fitting. On top of all that, the album just has a big sound; it sounds grand, important. And with a somewhat short running time, it just leaves me craving more.

‘Cold+Blood+Messiah’ is hard to fault. This is an album that no fan of symphonic extreme metal should miss. For those that enjoy this enough to purchase it, the digipack version contains a 30-minute documentary, a shorter doco about the making of the “Hairesis” video clip, and a few other goodies. So it’s well worth searching for that version. 9.5/10

For fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Limbonic Art, Vesania.

Band: Hermh
Album: Cold+Blood+Messiah
Year: 2008
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Label: Regain Records
Origin: Poland
myspace.com/hermh

Track listing:
1. Hairesis
2. Instrumenetum Diaboli
3. Eyes of the Blind Lamb
4. Lord Shall Be Revealed
5. I Bring You Fear <- Reviewers choice
6. Sin is the Law
7. Gnosis
8. Who Can Be Against Us?
9. In My Flesh I See God

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.