The Norwegian Black Metal scene is world renowned, living on in fevered infamy thanks to bands such as Hagl releasing compelling new material in this doomed modern age. Presenting gloriously melodic hymns that should enrapture all fans of darkness and intrigue, Lenket til Livet by Hagl is a sonic adventure that is well worth seeking out. Folter Records continues to unveil exciting bands from all over the world, and Hagl is another blackened gem to add to their already impressive catalog of underground auditory malevolence.
From the grim beginnings of Askefast, one clearly understands the dark and exhilarating journey the mighty Hagl intend to send the listener upon. Den Sorte Porten furthers the bleak proceedings with its oppressive melodies surrounding the senses in a most unforgiving way.
Ulvehyrde is desolate and profound followed by the somber reveries of Fra Kulden Til Flammene morphing into a fiery sonnet that places a death grip around your throat. The penetrating grooves of Helvete Ligger Så I Lende make you want to bang your head as you descent even deeper into the suffocation pits of a foreboding personal hell.
Ondskapt is ominous with its sweeping soundscapes weaving its wicked magic throughout an already despairing soul. Liksoek is supremely epic with its blistering reprieves followed by the all-out intensity of the primal yet majestic Sjelefiend.
Vardogn adds a mellotron underscore sending this thrilling track into the stratosphere and beyond. And then closing out the Lenket til Livet experience is the punishing Endelikt, leaving a lingering impression within the dark recesses of a truly tortured mind.
Formed in the twilight of 2011, Hagl features members of Beastcraft, Endezzma and Kvaelt – and together they present a debut recording that should launch them into the obscure realm of the Black Metal elite. The Hagl trinity consists of Malphas on guitars, bass and mellotron, Sorath on vocals, and Gheist on drums. Lenket til Livet by Hagl is a debut of epic proportions, a soon-to-be genre classic that dark souls will want to revisit time and again!
(Review by Ken Morton)
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