Label: Moribund Records
Release Date: 2 November 2018
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo
I must admit that “Soterion” was my first “meeting” with Hrizg. Obviously I have missed their work so far, but that was good. Discovering a quality band with solid releases is always a good challenge. At the end of the day we at Blessed Altar Zine love digging the mines, so it was an experience which gave new knowledge and great time, to be honest.
Few facts about the band. Hrizg are coming from Spain and are among the leading Spanish Black/Death metal bands. (now I feel ashamed!). Hrizg means “Pain” in Orchish. The quartet is been active since 2005, and after one demo in 2006, they release their debut “Oaken Path of Grief” in 2007. 2011 was the year when the band signed with Moribund and to unleashed a “landmark album” – “Anthems to Decrepitude”. Hrizg’s “groundbreaking album” “Individualism” has bee released in 2014, when the band really showed mature growth in songwriting, compositions and sound.
4 years later comes their highly anticipated fourth album “Soterion”. Checking for the meaning, I find that in the various theological sources the term “soterion” is connected with “deliverance”, something “what’s beneficial” (LXX) while in the NT it is used independently as adjective with meaning for “bringing salvation”. It is also connected with “salvation offering” in the Judaism. I’ll be much interested to contact the band for an interview on a later stage and understand more about their cravings on the matter, how they have been influenced, what is their definition etc., as they could present to us very interesting direction about their inspirations for the album.
The album is 48 minutes of flawless quality atmospheric black metal, with some death metal influences here and there. It contains 11 tracks with complex arrangement and a sound reminding a lot to some of the black metal classics from the mid 90s. Furthermore it is a very contemporary record. It easily can be considered among the finest BM albums in 2018 and definitely it could top some of the best BM records from the past couple of years as well.
Besides pure atmospheric black awesomeness, we have here some even Celtic Frost thrashy bits (and even TGW “heeeyys”) and some OSDM patterns, especially notable in the slower parts. “Soterion” comes with a classic sound, not raw, but with that tiny softness and underground nostalgic taste. Of course the vocals are absolutely solid. The production is very good in every aspect, in order to keep the record cult and quality in the same time. Same can be said about the gorgeous cover art. With every play-through “Soterion” gains more and more appreciation as it just reveals more moods and experiences. This is a very matured black metal record, I recon. Blasts, amazing riffs and tremolos, slower parts and melodic solos are very well mixed into one excellent whole, creating a dark and intense atmosphere. Every track is an absorbing experience.
Fans of every classic BM record from the 90s and every great BM record from the last 4 years, rejoice! We have another strong contender in our lists. Hrizg have delivered EXCELLENT black metal with atmosphere, complexity and a lot of heart. Pulsating, vivid, enjoyable in every moment. Bringing salvation. 8/10 Count Vlad
8/10 To greatness and glory
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