Distributor/Label: Saturnal Records
Buy Album: http://www.drakkar666.com/drakkar/description.php?lang=2&path=1&sort=id&page=0&id=6865
Band Website: www.saturnalrecords.com/hellspirit
Released: May 2014
Call to Arms
Weak Flesh – Filthy Blood
Blood and Metal
Eternal Night (Millennia of Might)
Baron Dethrone – guitars, vocals
Heinrich Von Heretik – bass & backing vocals
Eld – drums
MSA – guitars
Over the years, I’ve listened to some fantastic metal exports from Finland and you probably have too if you’re reading this.
Death metal bands such as Kalmah and Children of Bodom have been at the forefront of the metal mainstream. But turn your attention to the underground and you’ll find some equally impressive bands. Hellspirit, formed in Kuopio, have been playing intense black metal for a decade now and after a number of line-up changes and demo releases the band now release their long awaited debut album, Dawn Under Curse, with Saturnal Records.
Dawn under Curse begins with ‘Call to Arms’, a heavy and in parts melodic opener which sets the tone for the rest of the album which clocks in at just under 40 minutes over six lengthy tracks but it’s the next track ‘Unholy Redemption’ that really gets things under way. Dethrone’s brutal black metal vocals cut in and there’s plenty of riffs to satisfy most black metal enthusiasts. It’s clear that Hellspirit aren’t reinventing the wheel here. There’s a black thrash vibe in some sections reminiscent of bands like Aura Noir, other parts are a little more traditional with influences from Dissection and perhaps Marduk.
The musicianship is of a high standard throughout and there’s icy atmosphere on Dawn under Curse in spades. The sound on the album is just right, not giving way too much to over-production but still clear and crisp. The final two tracks, ‘Blood and Metal’ and ‘Eternal Night’ stand out for me the most. On these tracks, the riffs really flourish. ‘Blood and Metal’ has an awesome old school metal sound to it especially towards the end which gallops at pace, not too unlike Bathory or more recent Watain. The closer is just as good, providing a slower tempo at first while maintaining some excellent guitar work from MSA before picking up the pace towards the latter stages.
Dawn under Curse is a solid debut from a band now celebrating their tenth anniversary in the Finnish underground scene. Hopefully, the band can build on this release and produce something even better in the future.