Album Title: 
Cult Of Primordials
Release Date: 
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Review Type: 

WarHymn is a very young band from Romanian soil (more specifically: from the capital city of Bucharest), which was formed in 2019 by Alin ‘Shavy’ Savlovschi. In very early 2020, WarHymn (still a solo-project) self-released the debut Gnosis; soon after it got re-released physically via Narcoleptica Productions. At that moment, Shavy sort of recruited other musicians for this project; Hex (strings) and Philip Philipov (percussions and drums; also active with label-mates Akral Necrosis) joined WarHymn. A first example of the new-born collaboration is the EP Live In Studio, independently released in Summer 2021.

Enter 2022. Also (the very young) guitar player Razvan Rizea joined the crew, and this four-piece entered the studio to record several songs. Five of them made it to Cult Of Primordials, the first WarHymn-release as a ‘real’ band. They signed to Loud Rage Music (also from Romania) for the releasing duties, both digitally and physically; the physical one is a jewel-case compact-disc, printed in an edition of 300 copies, which comes with an eight-page booklet that includes lyrics (performed in English) and, eh, ‘different’ (but enormously interesting!) artwork by the Shav himself (black-and-white seduction in Eden’s garden, painted in a unique format).

Cult Of Primordials has a length of about twenty-six minutes and was produced, mixed and mastered with Mihai Alexandru Dincă behind the knobs. It features guest vocals in several songs (war hymns) by Monica Barta, known from e.g. Kratos or DinUmbră (Philip is part of the live line-up for that act as well, by the way).

Before the basic essence of WarHymn’s stuff starts with the title-track, this EP, which clocks about twenty-six minutes, opens with Dominus Terrae I (Lumial’s Fall). However, this composition is more than just an intro. Initially built around atmospheric keyboards and epic acoustic guitars, Dominus Terrae I (Lumial’s Fall) sort of brings a Folk-like thing. When the mesmerizing electric guitars and spoken voices (both male and female, strongly invocative) join, the occult concept gets revealed. The last third of this first song can even act as a soundtrack for a dark ceremony to come. Nice start…

But as said, the core of this material starts with the title-song, which opens with a short female-spoken narrative. The Dark One will be summoned… And indeed, this lengthy track (eight minutes of duration) offers a bleak, dark-edged form of very melodious, somewhat catchy Black Metal with an old-schooled spirit. From string-played point of view, the melodicism is striking. Dueling tremolo rhythms and captivating leads (at five minutes, there’s a notable example) are like the spine of this song (and the ones to come), showing a professional craftsmanship, yet lacking exaggeration too (which is a positive thing, seen the catchiness that surrounds the material). Also the rhythm section shows its surplus within the whole sonic journey. The drums are adventurous, with a lot of variation, sometimes strongly supportive, then again taking over the key role. Within the same vein, so are the rhythm and bass guitars, strengthening the melodious character of this song (and the others). Combine this with the powerful yet very understandable grunting screams (and the additional spoken evocations) and one might expect precious sophistication. This works indeed.

Dominus Terrae I (Lumial’s Ascension) and Fresh Spring In This New World go on within that very same temerarious vein, combining fast and fierce episodes with slower, purely epic ones, in an organic way. The additional spoken words and operatic chants fortify the ritualistic, portentous concept. The faster parts breath that old-styled fierceness that might remind of the Scandinavian scene of the Nineties.

The mini-album ends with the instrumental, partly-acoustic semi-hymn Opus, which one can surely consider as a sweet (and no, there is no sarcasm behind it) closure to this conceptual release, which, and I quotes, ‘delivers the very nature of the First Civilizations, defined by knowledge, fall, murder, ascension and in the end free will’.

Do not expect a renewing album, but who needs originality when the result pays tribute to the essence of the scene… Besides, Cult Of Primordials is produced very decently, with a fine mixture of all ‘ingredients’, I mean, it’s guitar (and voice) driven in the first place, yet with regards as well to the other instrumentation and vocalization.