Blaze of Perdition - The Harrowing of Hearts

Band: Blaze of Perdition

Album: The Harrowing of Hearts

Genre: Black Metal

Label: Metal Blade Records

Location: Poland

FFO: Kriegsmaschine, Infernal War

Black Metal often has a lot going on in it. Blaze of Perdition is no stranger to having layers of sound going on. With this style of writing, you almost need good production to even appreciate it. Luckily Harrowing of Hearts showcases the best production they’ve had to date. ‘Transmutation of Sins’ has some bigger moments to show off these layers and production on it which also switches up the pace of the album a little. This record does what it was made to do, be a black metal record, almost too much so.

There are certainly fans out there of the classic Black Metal sound. Being a fan of artists like Liturgy and Batushka, I find this classic sound boring and repetitive at times. I can enjoy and appreciate talent when I hear it, but I’m always going to go back to more creative and experimental black metal at the end of the day. For the most part, this record is a lot of slow jams. Sometimes throwing in some blast beats, a *ding* from the ride and back to dyad riffs. All which become boring in time. In other words, the pacing on each of the 6-9 minute songs is not good. It also doesn’t help that the lyrics are exactly what you would expect for the most part from a black metal band. The album ends kind of abruptly. It either came out of nowhere or my mind could have been drifting a bit after hearing what sounded like 51 minutes of one big song. 

Previous LP, ‘Conscious Darkness’ has only a few songs at much longer length, and I enjoy that album much better. Sure production isn’t as good, but the instruments actually feel alive, especially the drums, making for much better musical arrangements being put together. This album is a good showcase as something I want to love because it feels like I should, but I just can’t. It’s only after my first listen through that I realized why it makes me feel like I want to love it, because it’s black metal by the books. For lack of a better example: Maybe you’re someone who loves pizza. But I guarantee if you ate the same exact cheese pizza every day for a week, you’d be sick of it. That’s what ‘Blaze’ has done here. No meat, no sauces, just the same brand of the same cheese pizza. 

The Harrowing of Hearts is not a bad album. I have certainly heard worse. It knows exactly what it is and does it well to a T. At the same time, that is also my problem with it. There wasn’t anything that grabbed me, nothing I haven’t heard before, no unique elements. Nothing stands out worth talking about or mentioning. The drums are always just sitting in the back, keeping basic rhythm. The guitars sound like they are stuck to a railroad track, stiff and unable to be adventurous - very stuck to one path or one end goal. For as tight knit and to the point it is though, at least it doesn’t sound ‘bad’ per se. These guys should reflect on previous work moving forward. Loosen up a bit and don’t be afraid to try something new. I know the talent is there but isn’t being used to the fullest potential. 

Rating: 5/10

Strongest Song: Transmutation of Sins


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