Review: Blakkr Nið – Holy Hellfire

Blakkr Nið - Holy HellfireI feel the heat beating out of Holy Hellfire. Pressing play triggers a wall of flames to shoot up in front of my nose; the serrated lick of harsh distortion (so hot, it’s almost dagger cold) and solemn organs than grant the surface a certain wretched serenity. Scale down the temperature and perhaps I could cling to the melodies within, which sometimes seem to fall between the vertigo tilts of Black Sabbath and the cigar smoke jazz of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. At other moments – namely, those at which melodic deliberation appears to melt into the act of sheer eruption – such thoughts feel ludicrous.

The final track drops back. Perhaps the heat has subsided, or maybe my burnt skin is now numb. Either way, I hear the gentle intention and aqueous detail that was previously obscured by fire. My mind vacates in an instant as guitars cross paths like passing seahorses; I enter slow motion and watch the embers dance, deceptively tranquil in their allusion to the violence that engulfed me just moments before.