Album Title: 
A Sigil Burnt Deep Into The Flesh
Release Date: 
Monday, February 12, 2018
Review Type: 

I am a ‘fan’ of Debemur Morti Productions’ roster for almost two decades. No, not every single release is a classic-to-be, but this label did release so many excellent albums in the meantime. One of those was A Sigil Burnt Deep Into The Flesh by Helel, originally released on compact disc (and digital) in very early 2009. It is the band’s sole release until now, except for a compilation (tape + digital late 2014), but officially they did not split up, I think. Never mind…

The original recordings have now been re-issued on vinyl, 12” and 7” (and digitally, once more), via French labels Necrocosm and Dead Seed Productions (+ another repressing a couple of weeks ago). The material was initially recorded by frontman / multi-instrumentalist / composer Mz., with Skvm (of Arkhon Infaustus / The Order Of Apollyon / Livarkahil / Temple Of Baal-fame) and Zaal. It consists of four pieces that last in between five and ten minutes, clocking about twenty-seven minutes.

Helel actually is the Hebrew word for ‘Lucifer’, and this band’s stuff indeed is as evil as God’s favourite fallen angel, I guess. Whet these sweet boys perform is relentless Industrial Black Metal, but of the most claustrophobic kind. Industrial Black Metal bands are often a combo of would-be artists with no message, but once in a while you have one that convinced, overwhelms, surprises and persuades. That’s the case right here. Okay, A Sigil Burnt Deep Into The Flesh comes with the necessary ingredients: machinal guitar lines, bludgeoning blasting drum patterns, harsh electronics and wretched screams, with blasting-fast pie(r)ces and pounding decelerations, mechanical manipulations, programmed and reversed structures, and alienated and discordant melodies. It rips, it rapes. It hits, it does not take prisoners (at least not alive). It’s is totally exaggerated, totally frenzy and schizoid. It’s sick / sickened / sickening. But hey, it fits! All this gets injected by horrifying choirs and chants (à la those fabulous cult horror movies from the late Seventies), by martial percussion rhythms, by deep-cutting guitar leads, by acid-spitting grunts, by spi/ritual keyboard lines, and so much more, on top of the sonic terror that makes the basic construction of all this.

For fans of: Blacklodge, Mysticum, Sagrario Mortis, Oskryf, Metraton, Styxian Industries, Nocratai, DHG, The Order Of Apollyon, Aborym and the likes…

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