The infernally creative music of Hail Spirit Noir is very hard to pin down, which is a part of the band’s multifarious charms. Anyone who has delved into the wonders of their first two albums, Pneuma and Oi Magoi, are well aware that HSN march (and scamper) to the beat of their own drummer. You might fumble around with combinations of words that include “black metal”, “psychedelic”, “progressive”, “occult”, and “retro” in an attempt to describe the sonic potions they have brewed, but an all-encompassing description remains elusive. There is a dark animating spirit and an ingenious intelligence behind the songs, but no two of them sound quite alike.
And so, apart from the impressive and distinctive quality of those first two albums, one big reason to be eager for their new album Mayhem In Blue is the excitement of an unpredictable new discovery. We’re very happy to pull back the curtain on the new album — albeit only far enough to provide a tantalizing glimpse — by providing the premiere of its first single, a song called “I Mean You Harm“.
It’s not a very friendly song title, and the music doesn’t greet you with a warm embrace either. It includes some of the distinctive, recognizable elements of Hail Spirit Noir’s previous releases, but it’s also more aggressive and malicious than what you may be expecting. But of course, confounding expectations is obviously a big part of the fun that Hail Spirit Noir find in making music.
From the very start, “I Mean You Harm” rocks with a compulsive beat and a compulsive riff, but with a demented and infernal air to the melody. No clean vocals are to be found in the song — the vocals are truly flesh-shredding — and those bounding, rocking drum rhythms turn to blasting as the song becomes more red-eyed and vicious. Psychedelic keyboards and increasingly deranged dual-guitar machinations add to the song’s twisted and menacing aura. The music puts your teeth on edge, while also firing a burst of electricity straight into your brain stem.
In a nutshell, this is a hell of an introduction to Mayhem In Blue, and tends to bear out what the band have said about the album:
“It’s been two and a half years since the release of our last album, and with Mayhem In Blue we have set out to express our more aggressive side, without sacrificing any of the psychedelic melodies that are an integral part of what we like to call Hail Spirit Noir’s “weird black sound”. If anything in fact, the sound is more enticing and trippy than ever.”
Mayhem In Blue was mixed by Dimitris Douvras (Rotting Christ) and mastered by Alan Douches (Chelsea Wolfe, Motörhead). The album art was created by Olia Pishchanska. It will be released by Dark Essence Records on October 28. The track list is below, followed by our premiere of “I Mean You Harm”. To pre-order the album, go HERE.
1. I Mean You Harm
2. Mayhem in Blue
3. Riders to Utopia
4. Lost in Satan’s Charms
5. The Cannibal Tribe Came from the Sea
6. How to Fly in Blackness