Released: 2015, Folter Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
My first impression of this new Norwegian black metal group was that they’ve come up with the sound Abbath would have made had he ditched Immortal and I and started making Gothic Black Metal. Hagl have paved the way in giving a somewhat melodic and gothic edge to the start of their debut LP: LENKET TIL LIVET but have ushered in rawness that will please anyone who knows Emperor or Tsjuder.
‘Askefast’ opens up with some thrashy riffs reminiscent of the early days of black metal, pleasing anyone into Mergyful Fate and the like. Then we have ‘Den Sorte Porten’ which contains some jazzy drumming that reminded me of Trym Torson’s days in Emperor.
Then we get some acoustics on ‘Fra Kulden Til Flammene’ making the album calmer for a bit before heading back into the realms of slow and repetitive black metal. This is the kind of black metal that mirrors the day to day routine for lots of fans meaning it is worth listening to in order to get yourself through the day.
The jagged riffs are played at a pacing you’ll enjoy if you like the odd slow record and there’s rock riffs reminding me of Vried and Necrophor. The only thing wrong with this album is the lengths of the songs. This is the kind of black metal that is best performed at short lengths making the listener come back for replay value. This album does have replay value but could do better if it had more tracks at shorter lengths.
That aside, a very impressive first venture from a promising band.
Review by Demitri Levantis