Featuring the rawness and brutality of bands like Horna, Baptism, and Entartung, today we have Germany’s Halphas and their devastating debut release “Dawn of a Crimson Empire”. Unleashing eight hymns of pure devastation, this band has a timeless sound and a level of intensity that is uncanny.
Immediately after the warm-up intro, the band beings building momentum with the diabolica-sounding mid-tempo opening of “Call from the Depths”. As the song progresses, its intensity increases, creating a very punishing and demoralizing piece with crushing vocals. The traditional BM riffing of “Through the Forest” kicks things up a notch with pummeling drums and incisive tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the expert guitar layering the band does, allowing their music to be quite expansive and raw.
The album continues is ravaging path with killer songs like the punishing “FMD”, the more melodic “Malice”, and one of our personal favorite “Sword of the Necromancer”, featuring a killer bass guitar line and a very immersive vibe. Never staying away from their core brutality, pieces like “Damnation of the Weak” instantly remind you of the band’s cutthroat attitude and ravaging sound.
Closing with the album’s more refine and diverse track, “Empire” explores some more melodic and atmospheric territories, reminding us of bands like Vreid and Windir. Overall, “Dawn of a Crimson Empire” is one killer release full of great ideas and solid instrumentation. Easily standing out from the rest of BM bands, Halphas is certainly an outfit to keep an eye out for.
|Album: Dawn of a Crimson Empire
Label: Folter Records
Release: December 15th, 2017
Genre: Black Metal