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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.