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  • Jason Hesley

OUT TODAY! Heksegrav - "Svart Portal"

Abandon all hope ye who enter the black chasm! Leading you away from the gates of heaven and right through the depths of hell, Svart Portal is the first and only outing from HEKSEGRAV, a one man-metal project helmed by the mysterious GARM. An epic ebb and flow of atmospheres, Svart Portal listens like the soundtrack to a pre-code silent horror movie, slithering from iconic riff to iconic riff, slowly building cathedrals of gothic dread. Guided by low rumbling tones, ominous chanting and a solitary church bell, this Dantean guide takes you on an entrancing fantasy ride that combines the conceptual prowess of bands like Bell Witch and Bong Ripper with the nostalgic sound and mythology of early heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Dio.

Over the course of an uninterrupted 28 minutes, HEKSEGRAV presents a succinct musical reflection in the tradition of the Divine Comedy that nevertheless manages to slow down time and space to ensnare you in your own ruminations. Opening chapter «GLØD» reveals the radiant heat of hells fires through shifting tectonic plates as GARM admonishes his fellowship, alternately belting, chanting or growling with the murkiest of gutturals that rival the depth of his deeply distorted eight string guitar.

The subsequent «Sirkel» transports us into the sky where the music of the spheres reverberates darkly against the iron inertia of the expanse. Urged on by alien bagpipes and harrowing church bells, our odyssey continues restlessly inside the empty space of a dead universe, where eerie male choirs chant droning chords invoking undertones of dark ambient and dungeon synth music.

Closing chapter «RÅTE» turns up the sonic prowess of this project as our delusion of heaven becomes complete in the eyes of a merciless god. Laying prostate on the cold church floor the black chasm of our despair opens up as the mighty organ bellows brazenly over our corpuses. Engulfed by the most phenomenally executed examples of classic doom metal, our journey ends in the twilight and evening of the world amidst echoing drones and slowly fading atmospheres.

What is left is an inexplicable feeling of fulfilled emptiness that makes you feel at peace yet also eager to experience this whole hell ride again. HEKSEGRAV presents an incredible tribute to the power of heavy metal, taking the elements that made the genre great and rendering them in high definition. The riffs and atmosphers on Svart Portal flourish with the flick of the volume knob and it goes without saying that this record needs to be played loud. This is slow heavy metal playing exemplified presenting an incredible journey for those unafraid to disturb the grave of the witch!

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