A Hill To Die Upon – Holy Despair album review

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Merging Death and Black Metal together, A HILL TO DIE UPON take after so many doing the exact same thing, what’s different? “Holy Despair” is an absolute bone crushing, dark and furious album from start to finish.

This time round, A HILL TO DIE UPON seems to follow to footsteps of other Black Metal bands in a more melodic approach such as BEHEMOTH and WATAIN. This can easily be noted throughout the album but more so in tracks such as “Let The Ravens Have My Eyes” and “Satan Speaks” – this is always a touch and go situation for the more dedicated Black Metal fans who despise anything to do with good production and hearing any form of melodic composition throughout the release however A HILL TO DIE UPON have done this magnificently and infused two wonderful genres together to create their masterpiece.

“O Death” is definitely a more risky track, bringing in soft, clean female vocals to accompany the harsh darkness within. It brings out a more haunting, chilling side to the album – in fact, it’s beautifully unsettling.

“Somme” also is a definite beauty on the album too, A HILL TO DIE UPON has really demonstrated that for an album to be chilling, dark and yet utterly thrilling, you don’t need to have constant distorted guitars, blast beats and screams. They have stripped down fully and offered a track that is beautifully presented, that stands out and sends shivers down your spine. “Somme” is no longer about banging your head, throwing up the horns and trying to be as Metal as the actual artist, it’s about appreciating musical talent and almost allowing fans to open their minds to the creativity and diversity within the darker genres of Metal.

A HILL TO DIE UPON have kept sheer brutality, they have rode through the gates of hell and come back out with a release that seems worth selling your soul to the Devil for.

Each track on “Holy Despair” flows magnificently into the next one, keeping a continuous power throughout the entirety. “Holy Despair” has that power that makes you physically not care about anything in your life but the music you’re listening too, that’s the way it has been and the way it should have remained when it comes to the music industry.

A HILL TO DIE UPON have released a genuine beauty, inside and out, it’s simplistic yet technically superb.

Rating 9/10

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About Jessica Howkins
Music Journalist, studying at Staffordshire University. Metal enthusiast and probably at the bar.

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