From France comes a new force in black metal named Hats Barn. Their new EP, S.h.e.o.L is available digitally now and will also be available on CD via Ogmios Underground.
Sticking to tradition, Hats Barn’s aggressive and soulless take on black metal will be familiar to most who know the history of the sub-genre well. Ceremonials of the Ancient Gods is a roaring whirlwind of bleak riffs, repetitive drum beats and two styles of vocals. It’s the latter that will make listeners sit up and take notice.
One is standard black metal gruffness and phlegm-covered while the other is horrifyingly high-pitched. Think Dani Filth but at a higher pitch. It is really sharp, ear-splitting in tone.
Although it’s quite rough on the ears, those screeching vocals at least mark Hats Barn out as doing something a little different as beyond that, S.h.e.o.L is very much ‘by the numbers’ black metal. Perfectly solid, perfectly enjoyable but the likes of In the Abyss of Dante and Gehenne are not going to light up the black-metal world.
It lacks imagination being weighted towards an earlier sound of darkness but with a richer production giving clarity when there could be none. That is appreciated and means that by time χήνα του Σατανά hits with slow and devilish rhythm, the EP is wrapping up in a positive way.
Hats Barn – S.h.e.o.L Full Track Listing:
1. Ceremonials of the Ancient Gods
2. Purify by Fire
3. In the Abyss of Dante
5. χήνα του Σατανά
Hats Barn - S.h.e.o.L (Ogmios Underground)
The Final Score - 7/10