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Norwegian black metal clan 1349 returns with another crushing metal offering, as the eight-track HELLFIRE is as abrasive and scathing as any album currently waking the dead. From the sinister voice on the title track that commences the excursion to the abyss to the impending evil that continues throughout, this quintet has created a maelstrom of mayhem. Raspy growls, ripping guitar riffs, machine gun turret drumming, and a sadistic overall viewpoint are some of 1349’s main devices of destruction, and when all put together into a cauldron of chaos, songs like the harrowing “From the Deeps” and the demonically charged “Nathicana” are born. If you enjoy the depravity of black and death metal and are looking for a band that takes a more traditional approach to the genre, HELLFIRE is an album that belongs between your Emperor and Satyricon discs.
- Mike SOS