One warning we occasionally give when we spread the word about new music is for people to take deep breaths before they listen. We’re doing it again now, and we really, really mean it this time.
The title of this new song — “Storms, Floods and Fire” — is its own warning siren, though perhaps it might have been more accurate if it had included “…At the End of the World.” It’s the first single to be revealed from the surprising self-titled debut album of the Danish band Heaven’s Damnation, just in time to seize attention before its March 3rd release by Vendetta Records.
The band is new, but the album is the work of veterans. It began almost five years ago as the solo project of M. Bertram (of Dysgnostic and Urkraft notoriety) with the goal of combining the atmosphere and darkness of Black Metal with the brutal, hard-hitting aggression of Death Metal.
To complete the project, he eventually brought in Andreas Fjorgynn (Fjorsvartnir) on drums, and Lars Johansson (Serpent’s Lair, Genocide Doctrine, ex-Udånde) on vocals. In addition, Thomas Fischer and Simon Kannegaard from Dysgnostic (as well as other bands) pitched in to contribute additional vocals and guitar soloing.
But now let’s turn our attention to the first stunning sign of what they’ve done together.
With no chance for you to take any deep breaths (you were warned), “Storms, Floods and Fire” explodes in a fiery tempest of boldly brazen and maniacally blazing riffage, thunderous drumming, and raging, ravenous vocals. Sudden bursts of percussive obliteration, frenetically flickering leads, and wild howls and yells turn up the heat in a song that’s already incendiary from the start.
The music is so high-flown in its searing and haughty splendor that it seems to cut a swath across the skies, like some apocalyptic meteor, even when the vocals turn to deep, ominous words and hefty grunts. The fireburst of shrill, crystalline-clear soloing makes it an even more breathtaking (and unhinged) audio epic.
To pull up a couple more metaphors, listening to this is like being thrown into a cyclonic vortex, with preternaturally eerie and frighteningly fast guitar arpeggios spearing out of the maelstrom one after another, and everything segmented by booming detonations in the midst of a roaring percussive avalanche.
There’s really only one breather, and it comes in a brief and beguiling guitar instrumental near the end, soon followed by the return of a blazing and battering storm-front, strengthened with flashes of exhilarating lead-guitar flurries and vitriolic tirades from those demon-possessed vocals.
You see what we mean? If that song doesn’t make you hunger for the whole album we’ll be very surprised.
The record was produced and mixed by A. Fjorgynn, and mastered by Lasse Ballade at Ballade Studios. The not-soon-forgotten artwork, almost like a latter-day Doré, was created by Misanthropic Art. For more info about the release, keep an eye on the locations linked below.