Released: 2006, CCP Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Anyone of you still remember this Black Metal outfit from Israel that recorded their debut album ARCHIVES OF AN ENCHANTED PHILOSOPHY for Holland´s Hammerheart Productions... how many years ago – 6 years ago, in 1997? I personally don´t remember much about it, in fact, probably only the album cover – and that´s all, I´m afraid.
The band split up for years until they were reformed again by the three ex-members, recruiting two new faces to the band´s line-up: Lord Koder for vocals and Ariel E. for the 2nd guitar. By the help of the 4-song promotional-CD, titled UNVEIL THE CURTAIN OF SANITY, which was released in 2004, and which also won the interest the independent Austrian label, CCP Records in early 2005.
Well, it could be said CCP Records got a good catch – actually a very good catch for the label. Bishop of Hexen´s 2nd album – also the band´s sort of a comeback album in some sense of the word, THE NIGHTMARISH COMPOSITIONS, is directed especially to those of you who are fond of the sounds of Dimmu Borgir, mixed with something like Arcturus ála LA MASQUERADE INFERNALE. So yes, the name of this particular game on THE NIGHTMARISH COMPOSITIONS is, symphonic Black Metal – and Bishop of Hexen´s own view about their symphonic Black Metal, is – to say as honestly as possible, really carefully thought-out from every single aspect. There´s many detailed, even very theatrical moments on this album (those spoken, clean vocal parts, for example - amongst other things) that naturally add their own sophisticated spicy element into a grim, strongly keyboard-driven yet extremely atmospheric sound world of Bishop of Hexen. These fivesome from Ramat-Hasharon, Israel, sounds well-rehearsed, upliftingly entertaining – and damn, they do their thing very well and convincing enough way. There are more than just a fistful of brain-tickling moments on this album, so the songs truly recompense listeners for giving a try to this highly symphonic and atmospheric Black Metal album. I especially happened to like all those a bit more theatrical, Arcturus -type of ´horror´ sections that the band seems to seed around constantly in their songs. As said previously, Dimmu Borgir´s influence in the band´s songs, is very strong, too, which obviously is that thing on the album why many people may become interested in them in the first place. But yeah, all of these well-crafted, symphonic and atmospheric elements make THE NIGHTMARISH COMPOSITIONS a great listening experience, and Bishop of Hexen are very good at churning them out on their 2nd album, too.
Seems like the band´s comeback was really worth something because these 5 Israeli blacksters have composed, to say the least, an impressive comeback album. Go check it out to believe it.