Sep 142023

For those of us who enjoy our weekly or daily descents into the black metal underground, discovering the existence of a new band whose line-up includes members of Dauþuz, Häxenzijrkell, Abythic, and Lunar Chalice is an intriguing development. For those of us familiar with the music of those other entities, nothing more is needed to kindle the desire to listen to what this new formation — Hagatiz — has created.

The allure is even stronger because the label (Amor Fati Productions) that will unveil the Hagatiz debut album Cursed to the Night on October 11th has such a strong track record in choosing what to release.

Of course, even die-hard fans of those other groups named above will want to hear what Hagatiz has done, because it’s not predictable. And for the die-hards, and everyone else, we have an early sign today through our premiere of the album track “Drown In Darkness“.

To be more specific about the veteran participants in the Hagatiz venture, they are Semgoroth (the multi-instrumentalist from Dauþuz), MK (who does nearly everything for Häxenzijrkell), and Odium Aeternum (from Abythic and Lunar Chalice, among others).

As revealed on “Drown In Darkness“, these three have engaged in a rendering of black metal that draws its spirit from the ’90s. The song is primal in its appeal, and every bit as dark as the title suggests.

Backed by the vivid pumping pulse of the rhythm section, the riffing is both raw and ringing, and its moods are sinister and bleak, while the vocal’s crackling snarls are authentically hellish and cruel, and trilling guitar leads add a supernatural aura.

At the mid-way point the band create a phase of tension and incipient derangement, as a fevered guitar seems to writhe in agony, or like a serpent coiling to strike, and the drums deliver momentous booms.

That vibrating riff carries the song forward as the bass and drums pound like big pistons, and it morphs as it goes, sounding even more dismal and desperate, before the band begin alternating it with the opening riff above riotous drum fills. At the end, the drums fall silent, and the guitar deepens the mood of misery.

In some fundamental ways the song is “stripped-down” and “unpretentious”, but the rhythmic and melodic hooks are damned potent. The riffs are not only strongly evocative in their renderings of dark moods and infernal planes but also highly infectious, and the ugliness of those vocals appreciably adds to the cold chills of the music.

Amor Fati will release Cursed to the Night on CD and vinyl LP formats. For more info, keep an eye on the locations linked below…

…and also lend your ears to the previously released song “Demimonde“, which we’re streaming below. It might be even more sweeping, devastating, and devastated than the song we’ve just premiered — fiery but even more cursed, and also very difficult to get out of your head once you’ve heard it.



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