HAIL SPIRIT NOIR – Mayhem in Blue
Hail Spirit Noir is by no means an ordinary band. "Mayhem in Blue" is no ordinary album either. Once in a while, you come across a band that simply blows you away and changes your perspective on what music is and how it can influence and inspire you. This Greek three-piece has released one of the year’s most captivating and fascinating albums in the shape of this 6-track sickening musical carnival that is "Mayhem in Blue". Mixing elements from psychedelic rock, black metal, progressive rock, and every conceivable sense of the carnivalesque and grotesque, Hail Spirit Noir has managed to conjure up a musical landscape that is both hauntingly strange and strangely beautiful. The phrase "weird black sound" is mentioned somewhere in the press sheet that accompanied the promo CD, but this album is so much more than that. One could argue that it is way the fuck out there and trippy as hell, but the truth is that it is damn near impossible to sum up or describe what "Mayhem in Blue" sounds like and what it does to me. Some parts remind me of latter-day Mayhem while others remind me of Ulver (the electronic era) and Dødheimsgård. Heck, even Nidingr, Vulture Industries, Arcturus, and Hesperus Dimension come to mind in places, but the thing is that Hail Spirit Noir has conceived and brought forth an album that is original, innovative, and utterly compelling from start to finish. Intense and uncomfortable as hell, but wonderfully eccentric as well. This is the stuff that awful dreams and glorious nightmares are made of!
"Mayhem in Blue" is a thing of its own. I am going to keep this review rather short and simply urge all you lovers of experimental and progressive metal to immerse yourself in this album the very second you get a chance to do so. This fucker needs time to grow on you, so do not merely spin it once and then judge it based on that. Listen to it a whole bunch of times while in the right (i.e. twisted) frame of mind before deciding whether or not this appeals to you. Me, I find it brilliant.