Cultes Des Ghoules
Hells Headbangers have done well to re-unleash upon us the nightmarish sounds of Cultes Des Ghoules 2008 album of terrifying death-worship, Haxan. Full of subterranean dread, the lengthy album opener Baptised By Barron steadily surges along, replete with fat bass lines and sepulchral vocals, like a ravenous ghoul. A frigid, blasting black metal riff unfurls itself and obliterates everything in its wake. There is a certain ritualistic quality to the music despite its ever-shifting tempos and pacing. At the 10:19 mark the pace picks up once again, reminding somewhat of a more rabid De Mysteriis era Mayhem. Banshee screams and rotted riffs announce the Covenant And The Sacrifice, with its morbid guitars and Attila-esque vocal contortions. Later the song creeps morbidly along, the stench of decay thick in the air before once again spewing forth a wild Mayhem-ish high-speed riff. Stregoica Dance ploddingly drifts through a passage that reminds me in many ways of Under a Funeral Moon, the way it's paced and the nocturnal mood of the track, like a procession of death. Thunderous, bass heavy riffs spray forth like a geyser of blood as Scholomance gets underway. The bass "heavy" sound of the album is not unlike Necromantia's underground rumblings. The rhythmic blasting though sounds somewhat Finnish in style. Basically Cultes Des Ghoules sounds like an amalgam of many different styles as envisioned by a coven of plaguebearing necromancers. After an intro of ominous guitar the beginning sounds of coitus, The Impure Wedding spreads its diseased filth upon your ears. The repetitive riffs and corrupted vocals spread through your body like an affliction until the song erupts at the 5:02 mark. Violent and aggressive riffs and drums hit you with rapid-fire ferocity. The track climaxes in a bout of sorrowful riffs and a prolonged scene of violent, demonic sex. Haxan is an album that sounds as if it were meant to accompany a satanic zombie ritual, hidden deep within the grottos of a desecrated catacomb. The unholy dead gain strength from this album.