Darkstorm - _Hell Satan Blasphemy_
(Ashen Productions, 2006)
by: James Montague (7 out of 10)
_Hell Satan Blasphemy_, a grammatically nonsensical trio of evil-sounding words. Its cover art, a black and white sketch of horned beings yielding inverted crosses and generally not in the mood for tea and a chat. The band logo, designed by Christophe Szpajdel, the busiest man in black metal never to have drummed for Mayhem. Aye, this is pretty thoroughbred stuff. The only question is, how well does it trot out the archetypal black metal style?

The answer? Well enough to keep its core audience happy, but not well enough to displace the classics. Darkstorm started off as a side project of Vlad Blasphemer of Maniac Butcher infamy, although the style is very much the same -- raw, very fast, with precise blasts, absolute mastery of all the devil's scales, and a fair deal of conviction. What it lacks in relation to its infamous cousin is the extravagant croaks and turbulent cries of Barbarud, here replaced by a more standard rasped screamer, and the hilarious essay-length song titles, which yield to more orthodox blasphemic expressions like "Pentagram" and "Hymn to Hell".

There's not a lot to add in way of review. If you wish Immortal had stayed in _Pure Holocaust_ mode come hell or high frostwater, or that Maniac Butcher hadn't grown tired of the fancy-dress parade, then Darkstorm is your daddy. Otherwise, you obviously haven't yet fully succumbed to Satan's charms, and should return to _Hell Satan Blasphemy_ once your initiation is complete and your appetite insatiable.

Contact: vlad.darkstorm@seznam.cz

(article published 25/6/2006)

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