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Reviews: SAT338

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Embattled Donetsk in the Russian-controlled Donbas region of eastern Ukraine is home to Andrey V. Tollock, the man behind the genre-bending metal band Haissem (which is the inverse spelling of Messiah). It is easy to imagine that life there has been… difficult… over the last eight years, and especially now. But while continuing to devote himself to family and to paying work (he was employed as a miner at the time of what seems to be the most recent interview he gave in 2018), he has managed to be a prolific creator of heavy music.


Beginning with Maze of Perverted Fantasies in 2016, he has released five albums, and a sixth one — A Sleep of Primeval Ignorance — is now set for release by Satanath Records and Exhumed Records on April 14th. We’ve hosted premieres of music from some of Haissem‘s previous albums and today we do it again, as we present a lyric video for “Bleak Heaven Aloft” from the newest full-length.


As anyone knows who has followed Haissem’s musical progression, there have been variations in style from album to album. Although ingredients of melodic death and black metal, as well as thrash, could be said to form the backbone, the albums reveal experimentation with other ingredients. The new release is no different.


Compared to previous albums, A Sleep of Primeval Ignorance reveals increased use of keyboards to render symphonic and choral parts, and as the labels accurately report, the sound has became “even more massive, dense and weighty”.


The lyrics of “Bleak Heaven Aloft” are themselves bleak — and diabolical — and their supernatural setting is augmented by the film clips in the video. The music is quite multi-faceted, and the song’s significant length provides ample room for Haissem to move.


Those movements take the listener through episodes of turbulent, fire-breathing black metal in which cascades of grim and desperate melody flow like dark waves capable of carrying the listener away, far from stable shores. At times, the trilling guitar melodies are moody and downright heart-breaking, and they become intensely memorable.


The music is also frequently swathed in sinister and supernatural cloaks, and it soars in theatrical grandeur. It also delivers muscular jolts and head-hammering beats, and it dances in macabre delight. Part of what makes the song so captivating is that Haissem manages to present all these varying and often elaborate experiences in such a cohesive fashion.


The album comes recommended for fans of such disparate bands as Cradle Of Filth, Old Man’s Child, Rotting Christ, and Dimmu Borgir. It was recorded and mixed at Vetkin Records Studio, and features artwork by Hellcatfairyart, with layout by Aleksey Satanath.


Check the links below for pre-order information, and then also listen to the previously released song “Dieu Le Veut. Chaoseed“, which is free to download at Bandcamp.





This  is  a  review  of  an  album  from  Ukraine's  solo  project  Haissem  which  showed  the  music  going  for  a  melodic  and  progressive  mixture  of  black  and  death  meta  and  the  album  was  released  in  2022  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  and  Exhumed  Records  and  called  "A  Sleep  of  Primeval  Ignorance"




  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.  When  clean  playing  is  utilized  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  progressive  feeling  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  all  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.




  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  sounding  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  faster  sections  of   the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast b eats  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.





  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  synths  also  adding  in  some  symphonic  touches  when  they  are  utilized,  orchestration,  Gregorian  chants  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  philosophical  themes. 




  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Haissem  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  and  progressive  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.




Ukraine artist Haissem is out with the album "A Sleep Of Primeval Ignorance", and extreme metal is the style explored on this production. This take on the form revolves around long and rather elaborate compositions, most of them stretching beyond the 10 minute mark, with a liberal amounts of changes and alterations throughout in terms of both pace and intensity. The material appears to be more atmospheric laden than technical as such though, and while the sheer number of alterations does give the compositions a progressive touch this isn't really a defining characteristic here. These are well planned and executed creations however, although the often busy soundscapes can be a tad challenging at times. A production that should appeal to those who enjoy a more complex and challenging variety of extreme metal where multiple alterations in pace and intensity is a key trait throughout.




Andrey Tollock est ukrainien. Depuis 2016 et déjà six albums, dont le dernier en date « A Sleep of Primeval Ignorance« , il compose un black death d’obédience mélodique qui a su séduire l’exigeant Satanath Records. Autant d’éléments qui ne peuvent que pousser à l’écoute de ces quatre longues compositions (entre dix et onze minutes, oui ça commence à faire long.)


Et c’est assez dingue de se rendre compte à quel point Haissem est une formation excellente ! Si je devine ici et là des influences Emperor de la période « Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire and Demise » tant au niveau du chant que dans l’aspect progressif des guitares, la formation conserve néanmoins sa propre spécificité, sublimée par des compositions serpentines, évolutives, pleine de circonvolutions et de variations.

Typiquement le genre de disques dont on n’attend rien et qui se révèle être une véritable petite perle, discrète et trop rapidement oubliée tant elle est noyée dans la masse.


A suivre et à encourager!