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On disc: Cultes Des Ghoules

Häxan - Mike Thompson - 8 stars


(Hell's Headbangers - 2008)

Häxan is the first and currently only full-length album by cult Polish black metal band Cultes Des Ghoules. It was first released in 2008, but Hell's Headbangers are giving it a new lease of life on CD.

The most notable musical feature of this release is the overpowering bass sound. It is highly reminiscent of Greek cult Necromantia and is by far the driving force of this aural satanic ritual. The guitars are surprisingly laid back and simple, providing basic riffs and adding to the ritualistic ambience. On top of all this vocalist Mark Of The Devil utilizes his wide range of growls and shrieks to punishing effect.

I use the term ritual a few times now and this is because that is precisely what Häxan is; a satanic ritual in musical form. The atmosphere is heightened by the use of effects, screams and chanting at various parts throughout the album, giving the whole 55 minute duration a truly evil and sinister feeling.

By the time I reached the end of this album my mind was absolutely drained. The bass heavy sound, doom-laden rhythm and the occult overtones make for some seriously heavy listening. I don't think this is an album that I will be playing a lot but on those occasions when I feel like a truly evil listening experience this will be what I will reach for. A strong album.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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