BEYOND HELVETE – Anthem of Decay

BEYOND HELVETE – Anthem of Decay


MMXX by the vile black metallers known as Beyond Helvete was an impressive and hauntingly dark affair that flushed my day right down the toilet when it was released back in 2020 – in the best way possible. It was therefore quite interesting to receive a promotional copy of their latest slice of infinitely grim and vicious music titled Anthem of Decay, which has surely been designed to provoke strong feelings in the listener.

Fierce, fiery, and violent, Beyond Helvete conjure up a relentlessly bleak and ear-piercing sphere of deep-seated melancholy, and although it sounds like raw black metal, which basically means that it goes straight for the throat and comes across as outright maniacal and intense, it is anything but simple or primitive. There are numerous subtle nuances to be discovered if you just listen closely, and on top of that, there are some dangerously seductive traces of despair and spite that sliver and slide underneath the harsh riffs and unearthly vocals – and they will eventually worm their way into your skull and stay there. In many ways, the album provides the listener with an unfiltered and unpolished musical passage to a most loathsome and depressive musical universe where destructive impulses roam free. Now that I think about it, ‘Inexorable’, ‘Ceremony of Primal Urge’, ‘Atrophied’ and the title track are arguably the most expressive and stirring songs in the band’s arsenal to have seen the light of day. The latter evokes such a dismal aura that it is outright sickening, and the vocals are decidedly inhuman. Actually, the vocals are like that from beginning to end, which is a huge plus.

As is usually the case when it comes to releases by Immortal Frost Productions, the artwork and layout look superb, and I love the whole presentation of Anthem of Decay in that the music, lyrics, and visuals all go hand in hand and complement each other, thereby spawning an unholy piece that feels very complete and cohesive somehow. To the ears of this writer, the record is the finest and most emotionally charged output by the German duo to date, which is saying something. A worthwhile investment of your time and absolutely mandatory if depressive black metal appeals to you.   

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