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1349 Hellfire

1349 - Hellfire
1. I Am Abomination
2. Nathicana
3. Sculptor of Flesh
4. Celestial Deconstruction
5. To Rottendom
6. From the Deeps
7. Slaves to Slaughter
8. Hellfire
2005 Candlelight Records

Reviewed by: Ash Levitt   //   Published: 2/25/2006

With black metal, be it domestic or international, there generally is no middle ground in terms of musical quality; it is either extremely horrible or extremely great. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has heard any breadth of what black metal has to offer. Thankfully, to metal listeners of all kind, 1349 is a band that has continuously fallen into the latter category, and once again bestows on the listener a carefully crafted piece of black art in the form of their newest full-length Hellfire. 1349 once again sets the bar higher for themselves with the release of Hellfire, and for all other black metal acts to follow as well.

Named after the year the black plague hit Norway, 1349 is truly an aural assault on the listener. Anyone familiar with this band's previous releases will understand that the group's musicians have as strong a penchant for blazing, speedy thrash as they do traditional black metal. Despite slower, melancholic moments of dark atmosphere and ambience placed here and there, the paramount characteristic of Hellfire is surely speed. Intensity is probably the next best descriptor for what 1349 offers considering that Hellfire, if nothing else, is certainly one of the most furious, ferocious, feral, and absolutely unrelenting albums released in the past year. The blasting, thrash-like qualities of the opening track "I Am Abomination" give an indication of what's to come, and pummels consistently through to the end title track that, while somewhat subdued compared to the rest of the album, is no less dark and haunting.

While many releases in all genres of metal can tout intensity, speed, and a particularly desirable harsh abrasiveness, not many of those releases can also claim good songwriting. 1349 has always been able to claim this, and their releases, while varying in production quality, have always been able to back up this songwriting postulation with finely crafted tracks that invoke not just black metal, but various influences into a single piece of art. Upon listening to Hellfire, it is instantly clear to seasoned listeners of all types of metal that considerate thought is poured into the songwriting process. The cold, acrid guitar work, that can at times evince subtle melody and harmonics that get stuck in the listener's head, supported by the nicely changing and phenomenal drumming of Frost (Satyricon), and layered with powerful vocals; the combined work that 1349 displays on Hellfire is definitely a force that demands attention. The release of Hellfire is the perfect follow-up to the previous releases of Liberation and Beyond the Apocalypse, and can only leave the listener begging for more.

Bottom Line: If Hellfire is any indication of what can be expected from 1349 in the future, then listeners will surely come to classify the band's work as classics in metal. This is no exaggeration or cliché. 1349 absolutely have what it takes to be remembered as something great and not just a passing fad. Their sound, while being influenced by everything from Slayer to Darkthrone, is still uniquely 1349, and should be remembered as such. If you are a fan of any type of metal, not just black metal, you will without doubt find something in 1349 that brings you back for more.

sickointraining_   posted 8/30/2006 12:02:40 AM
first"first post"
united_ninety_three_   posted 5/17/2006 1:31:21 PM
bloodmustbeshed - go back to the metal chat room and boast of your kvltness gay. 1349 write good SONGS as opposed to all of the shit black metal that's been popping up over the last few years that you probably spray dck snot to. trash the wooden sword, wipe away the makeup, and grow up you f*cking douchewaffle.
jbeaver_   posted 3/2/2006 1:01:49 PM
^^Did you even read HumanSteamroller's comment idiot. He just got through saying how pop-punk bands are always advertised as "emo' for the sake of selling records, and people think that is what emo sounds like as a result, but are simply NOT EMO!!, yet you continue to say to "go listen to Good Charlotte" and other such crap as if they are emo. f*ck you're stupid. He explained, in clear terms, how meat heads like you stereotype the genre to whiney pop-punk, yet you continue to think that such cra
FUCK U_   posted 3/2/2006 9:45:04 AM
GOd damnit emo is soo gay f*ck u ppl are huge gays and should go listen to hold on by good charlotte and cry in the corner clutching yer final small peice of your dignity damn gays.
ethan_   posted 3/1/2006 5:44:15 PM
Nothing really special about these guys. There's no hint of thrash metal or anything either. Bought this cd after reading the review glorifying it. $16.00 well wasted and will probably go straight to eBay with it. Typical Black Metal band. Better rating would be 4/10.

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