Sunday, December 16, 2007

HOLLENTHON: With Vilest of Worms to Dwell

Yes he does. First he went outside his quality death metal band Pungent Stench to form Hollenthon with its impressive debut. And this release is far better than the debut. It’s hard not to compare Hollenthon to Therion as they both are two of the leading symphonic metal bands of today, yet it’s dangerous to do so. While Hollenthon makes symphonic metal out of their base of melodic death metal with a few folk elements to it, Therion has went a far way to combine heavy metal with classical music. They’re totally different genres, and aren’t experienced the same way. If we compare though, With Vilest of Worms to Dwell are closest to Theli in terms of pure energy and sheer symphonic madness. But don’t think that it sounds like Theli.
We have growls here, no opera. We’ve got a sick cover artwork instead of just a strange one. We don’t have the pulsating music, but a groovier one. Parts are played just with guitars and drums, turning into just strings and then some strange synthetic effects that unfortunately sink the album a little. The vocals of Martin Shirenc are mediocre at best, but do work. His clean vocals are better than his growls. When Elena starts singing the quality and beauty factors multiply. She wrote the lyrics too and deserves every compliment. The drums are played by Mike Greoger (or is it Greger?) and he does a wonderful job. He’s in Summoning too and it’s a shame that he’s not allowed to play the drums over there. He’s energetic, doing interesting rhythms and never sounds monotonous. The only downfall is that a few of the songs feel like fillers, and the exaggerated keyboards that sound a little too strange at times. With Vilest of Worms to Dwell isn’t a marvellous display of skill, but of visions and talent.
The melody isn’t a driving force in the music, nor is the rhythm. Actually the cyclic orchestrations are, and also they’re the better part of the albums. There’s an excellent solo in The Calm Before the Storm, apparently provided by Rob Barrett (Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation etc.). Too bad the riffs aren’t on par with it.
And if we should compare this to Therion, Hollenthon hasn’t got the same majestic, handcrafted, well-designed compositions. It’s more like Mr. Shirenc knew that he wanted to do an album with the dark, medieval war-like sound he’s accomplished here, and decided to make the songs after the sound instead of doing the correct way around. There’s not much negative to it, just that the song blend into each other a little too well, that there are a few fillers and the riffage. Oh, forgot about the incredibly out-of-place electronic amusement park music box intro to Conspirator. Elena does some real goose bumps-causing banshee sounds a bit into the song. ----- Corimngul

1. Y Draig Goch
2. Woe to The Defeated
3. Lords of Bedlam
4. To Kingdome Come
5. The Calm Before the Storm
6. Fire Upon the Blade
7. Conquest Demise
8. Conspirator

pw - heavymetalbreed

1 comment:

Keyboard said...

Hollenthon rocks! I am very amazed how they use keyboard in their music very well. They are one of the few bands who can do that flawlessly.