HellLight - _No God Above, No Devil Below_
(Solitude Productions, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (6.5 out of 10)
Brazilian doom-monger duo's forth album marks the band's devolution / regression toward simpler songwriting, exploiting a formula that has been used better in the past, when comparing _No God Above, No Devil Below_ to the band's previous full-length album, namely the mighty _...and Then, the Light of Consciousness Became Hell..._ from 2010. It all boils down to the simple fact the songwriting, the ideas and their execution were all superior on the band's 2010 album.

HellLight play a unique brand of funeral doom and epic doom hybrid, where slow, mournful yet ultra melodic funereal melodies coupled with deathly, yet typical grunts intertwine with epic (often slightly cheesy, if not totally goofy) moments, embodied especially in the vocalist's clear and soaring voice (whenever he's in his 'epic mode' exclusively) and an endless array of guitar solos and distinctive epic doom metal riffs.

These very different sonic dichotomies -- the crawling, melodious velvet abyss flirting intimately with the ridiculously epic, soaring cheesiness -- working together, interlacing and coiling around each other, is what makes this band unique: no other band out there uses that technique, as far as I know; at least not as impressively as HellLight does.

But alas! HellLight became a bit sloppy, or lazy, or both; for _No God Above, No Devil Below_ is less an inspired work of art and more of an echo (often pale in comparison) of the band's 2010 aforementioned grand opus. It's like their intensity faltered several notches, their ideas diminished and their overall enthusiasm, or 'zest', for their very music has become just a shadow of _...and Then, the Light of Consciousness Became Hell..._; an unripe, slightly amateurish effort that runs in circles around a single idea being repeated over and over for more than an hour.

That being said, removing all comparative factors, _No God Above, No Devil Below_ is still a very enjoyable recording; it's one of those ubber melodic, ultra beautiful recordings you cannot but love, meant for easy listening for their ear-friendliness and their hyper accessibility, but mostly due to their singular and still very impressive epic-versus-funereal admixture that will leave no one indifferent. Either you'll burst into tears of laughter listening to this, or let yourself be immersed within a sea of bliss and make this album your magical comfort zone for an hour or so. I chose the latter. Probably so should you.

Contact: http://solitude-prod.com/

(article published 23/12/2013)

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