Recorded once again at Berno Studio, where the previous two albums and several EPs were recorded, The Hallow Mass is indeed a MASSIVE experience, comprising seven epic-length tracks in an incredibly visual 63 minutes – or put more accurately, six central songs and one intermezzo, underlining DENIAL OF GOD’s undeniably cinematic approach to metal. Indeed, within that cinematic experience lays the band’s most varied and diverse album to date, and boldly do they begin with the 15-minute sorta-title track “Hallowmas,” which includes a compelling middle section consisting solely of keyboards – even more bold for DENIAL OF GOD, as they generally end their albums with the longest track. Nevertheless, The Hallow Mass ends on a high note with the straightforward-yet-twisted “The Transylvanian Dream,” and in between those two tracks do the trio somewhat subvert their trademark melancholy: more aggressive overall than, say, the solemn Death and the Beyond, but dive deeper into the material and discover that same strong sense of melancholy, built upon their characteristic horror aesthetic and theatrical performance. Of course, backed by outstanding drumming from Galheim, frontman Ustumallagam gives another commanding performance which further underlines DENIAL OF GOD’s ever-unique nature: raw, blackened vocals that never become senseless screaming, but which actually make the lyrics relatively easy to understand and penetrate the listener’s consciousness.
Topped off by stunningly atmospheric full-gatefold artwork by Markus Vesper, who delivered the unforgettable art for Death and the Beyond, DENIAL OF GOD’s The Hallow Mass is the timely return of true BLACK HORROR METAL!
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