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Review: Hoath - Codex II: Kether
Codex II: Kether

Label: Hammer of Hate Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 28:50
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black/Death


Review online: January 14, 2005
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

Well, this was a surprise. Having no idea what to expect, I figured Hoath, being from Finland and having all sorts of weird occult symbols all over the CD, would sound something like Sargeist or Satanic Warmaster - in other words, midpaced melodic black metal. Turns out I had it all wrong. This is raw, thrashing blackened death metal with a VERY pronounced Hellhammer/ Celtic Frost influence. Basic drumming (alternating between a basic thrash beat and occasional midpaced blasting), thrashy dark riffs and plenty of grunted vocals. The production, too, is quite analog sounding, very gritty but thick, with levels kept quite consistent. No instrument ever dominates, keeping the sound very listenable while retaining a decent level of filth and grime.

That's not to say it's not melodic - far from it, this is certainly rooted in the Beherit school of Finnish chaos, but it's also quite refined. The melodies are well integrated into the overall structure of the music, rather than being a focal point of the songs. The vocals, of course, are completely indecipherable, being grunted as low as possible, and since there are no lyrics printed, it's rather difficult to discern exactly where Hoath are coming from as far as their occult practices are concerned. Hell, even the tracklist is barely readable - the titles are printed in a large, scribbly looking non-Roman font, with barely noticable titles printed between those in a very dark, low contrast plain lettering. From what I can decipher though, they're quite intelligent, none of this "OMG LET'S ALL FUCK JESUS IN THE BUTT!" nonsense.

Despite all those quibbles, this is worth picking up for the music alone. It's catchy, dark and definitely imbued with enough subtlety to stand up to repeated listens. Hoath might not be reinventing the wheel here, but they're certainly spinning it for all it's worth.

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