Gehenna - _WW_
(Moonfog, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
By now you may have heard the rumors that Gehenna's latest opus has seen the band return to form. Well, allow me confirm that this is indeed the case -- after a misguided attempt at a death metal record on 2000's _Murder_, it's evident that someone within the band must have shared the disappointment of fans who had discovered Gehenna's hard-nosed take on symphonic blackness in the mid-Nineties. Cue some much-needed personnel changes, and the result is not so much a black metal phoenix rising from the ashes, but a band completely redefining their philosophy toward songwriting.

Where _Malice_ (the band's erstwhile finest hour) was a sterling example of symphonic black metal, _WW_ ditches the keyboards almost entirely, choosing instead to throw its lot in with the grim sounds of Darkthrone and Burzum. Indeed the record's harsh, raw guitar tone is very similar to the one that gave _Hvis Lyset Tar Oss_ such a maleficent feel, while Dolgar's vocals drip with an unnerving and coarse hatred as the band hammer out their themes of war and destruction at a frenetic pace.

Any further scrutiny of this record is redundant. The bottom line is that Gehenna are back after languishing in the depths of despair for far too long, and they've brought the front runner for black metal album of 2005 with them.


(article published 20/6/2005)

5/13/1997 D Schinzel 6 Gehenna - Black Seared Heart
10/11/1996 S Hoeltzel 7 Gehenna - Malice
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