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Review: Hellsaw - Phantasm

Label: Folter Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 40:28
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 30, 2008
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

Hellsaw, black and white cover art, you know what to expect right? Yes and no I should answer.

Of course "Phantasm" is a Black Metal release, but the harsh and cold artistic presentation is more or less representative of this band's music. First, the production is very good, so no this is not old school Black Metal. Austrian Aries (vocals, bass and guitars) and Svart (drums) are the core member of Hellsaw. Even if the guys claim that their style is traditional Black Metal, they still add their own touch which makes them a bit different. For one thing, they are not always blast beating all along the album. More moderate and even calm moments rise the melodic degree of their songs. This is high quality and intelligent Black Metal with a bit of an epic edge. Few keyboards here and natural elements there are creating a pleasant atmospheric level. Hellsaw had the good idea to include acoustic guitars into some of my favorite numbers: "The Ember of Your Own", "Omen" and the excellent instrumental "So Far..." On a darker note, "In Memory" is much more melancholic and crushing, completed with a doom mode. The closing track "Outro" is another ambient instrumental, only this time it is played on the piano. I would have personally chosen acoustic guitars, better suiting the feel of "Phantasm."

A very good Black Metal release.

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