Helleborus - Saprophytic Divinations (2019)


Symphonic Black Metal is one of those genres that if done incorrectly, can come off as gaudy and laughable. Luckily for us, Helleborus manages to deliver one of the most dense and engaging entries to the genre in quite a while. With “Saprophytic Divinations” this North American outfit unleashes an untamable beast in the shape of nine crushing tracks. Definitely targeted to Black Metal fans of bands like Nightbringer that have a small sweet spot for cavernous symphonic arrangements, this release will transport you to a hellish trip like no other.

Setting a haunting atmosphere with the dramatic opening to “Celestial Grave”, the band marches forward with punishing vocals and pummeling drumming. This level of intensity mixed in with melody is somewhat similar to Old Man’s Child last releases. As “Alraun Ghost” and “Devil’s Garden” unleash their poison, we are treated to intense guitar riffs, relentless vocals and a very dense atmosphere thanks to the dramatic symphonic arrangements. Perfectly balanced in the mix, all elements shine alike, creating a very intense and poignant aural abuse.

For those looking for darker and more intense tracks with a heavier Black Metal focus, “Juniper Shrine” will certainly fit the bill. We are however, more interested in the dynamic catchiness of pieces like “Seasonal Legacy” and “Nocte Amans”, which focus superbly engaging melodic guitars with playful tempo changes and a very diabolical vibe. The headbanging anthem “Blakulla’s Meadow” is the perfect example of the band’s ability to crafty catchy melodies while unleashing very ethereal atmospherics, all around a heavy and punishing BM core.

Closing with the sickening album title track, the band has managed to deliver one top notch Symphonic Black Metal that packs a lot of punch. Filled with intricate melodic passages and crushing atmospherics, this release marks a path of its own in a crowded space were everybody is trying to sound like Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth. Highly recommended for all fans of the genre that want to have both harsh Black Metal evilness and lush melodic elements interplaying from start to finish.

Band: Helleborus Album: Saprophytic Divinations

Label: Redefining Darkness Records

Release: December 6th, 2019

Homepage Facebook

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 94/100

Recent Image Galleries