Fathomhell are a Spanish outfit by Ludwigar. In 2012 the project recorded an EP, called Non Pietatem Erit (self-released on CD and shortly after re-issued on tape via Runenstein Records), and now he releases three (new?) tracks, which were, once again, produced, mixed and mastered by José L. Palacios at La Dama Oscura / Dojo Producciones Studio. The material sees the light in CD-r format (with two-paged booklet) via UK-based Cold Raw Records, a label that is sort of specialized in releasing ‘true’ underground stuff. Besides, this edition comes with the higher mentioned six-track EP as bonus!
KvrX opens with the title track, which is a short horrific Minimal Ambient Industrial piece, a true omen for the blackened terror to come. The next two tracks are Serpent I and Serpent II, standing for a rather traditional form of Nordic-oriented majesty, including the darkened sound, the epic melodies and the structural variation. But this goes further than an average execution of the Second Wave, for Fathomhell perform with a fabulous technically high-skilled craftsmanship, cf. the many breaks and tempo-changes, the multi-layered equilibrium in between classic excerpts and high-tech outbursts, and the presence of extremely grim voices, perfectly executed solos and, as said before, a wonderful sound, being rusty and icy, yet nicely mixed in order to give every instrumental element its place in the whole result. The first Serpent track is more brutal than the second one, yet the latter maintains an atmosphere much more suffocative, eerie and funereal.
The bonus-EP (thanks a lot, Doctor Cold Raw for this addition, for I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy and listen to this material before) brings a comparable greatness, paying tribute to the Norwegian scene especially, and the trans-European more generally. Once again the coldness and greatness of the Nordic scene gets tribute with pride and victory, and once again it is not like some cheap rip-off, yet done with creativity and intellect. No, I will not mention something like ‘original’ for it is not, but Fathomhell do give an own twist to this specific genre. Acoustic intermezzos, thrashing solos, the useful introduction, the deep growling vocals, the epic leads and melodies, the heavy bass lines and warlike drum patterns, everything fits. The sound might be a little less ‘full’ than the three newly recorded pieces, but still it is of a very satisfying quality, far away from the under-produced dungeon sound that sometimes spoils my fun.
In conclusion: top-material, and I hope Ludwigar will return soon with another recording!