Review: Heaven Abhorred – Opening the Gates (EP)

Posted: March 12, 2015 in Demo Review, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Image of Heaven Abhorred - Opening The Gates CD

Pennsylvania’s Heaven Abhorred have unleashed their debut EP on Sixsixsix Music this year, anticipating the release of a full length this summer. Specialising in a particularly mournful form of black metal, ‘Opening the Gates’ is exactly the kind of statement bands should make on their first proper release.

‘Full Moon Ritual’ begins with a sombre, building riff that encapsulates the mood. This is dark, brooding stuff and made menacing with the haunting rasp of the vocals. The pace rarely moves above funereal, but it’s actually a pleasant change from raw black metal bands that tend to go full hammer and tongs more often than not. The title track however is exactly that; full throttle raw black metal fury. Heaven Abhorred almost had me!

‘Father of Lies’ has a bit more vintage death metal feel about it in parts, with a more guttural vocal and a chuggier opening riff. The atmosphere of it is still very much black, suffocatingly so. ‘ Children of the Night’ brings the EP to a close with the best track here. At nine minutes, all of Heaven Abhorred’s good points shine through. The crescendoing opening riffs, the buzzing Darkthrone influence, the unholy fury and moments of calm woven within blasting drums and chainsaw guitars.

I like this release, but hopefully Heaven Abhorred can do something a bit more impressive with more time. The final track was the highlight for me, and the moments that weren’t totally cliche raw black metal worked as well. Something for them to think about on their new record perhaps.


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