My last review was Kim Wilde. So to mix things up, let’s jump about as far away musically as I can in my current review pile and pick up Garhelenth’s recent release About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy. From pop to black metal, that works.
So what do we have here? Droning rhythm guitars? Check. Twin harsh vocals? Check. Atmospheric intro track? Present and correct. Chainsaw? You betchya. Garhelenth may be the first Armenian band we’ve featured, but if they’re any indication of what the country has to offer then it’s got a pretty decent scene.
I don’t have much information on the band other than that they’re a two-piece formed originally in Iran before moving through Georgia and into Armenia. Founder Hilnogorth covers guitar and vocals, partnered with Sagroth also on guitars. The band stay true to the original “Black Metal” label, and don’t want to be described as any sub- or side-genre, and to be fair they do a good job of maintaining the original Norwegian sound.
Obviously, this is a typically dark album as befits the genre. However, where many bands seem to push into the extreme end of things, Garhelenth have stuck to the miserable, blackened roots. The sound is downtuned, more often slow and doomy than fast with even those breakneck sections tempered by a slower bass rhythm. This encourages more head-nodding than neck-breaking. Check out “To Impersonal Mankind” below as an example.
Impressively, they’ve also worked in some little earworm rhythms, too. This is black metal you can hum to. It makes great background music while at another time is something you can sit back and genuinely get lost in.
Black metal is something I often have to be in the right mood for. Garhelenth have created an album I can put on any time and find myself enjoying.
About… is out now