Title: Hymns of the Damned
Label: Cursed Tongue Records/Ripple Music
Release date: 22 November 2019
Format reviewed: High-quality digital promo
HAZEMAZE released a tremendous debut self-titled album in February last year. I was instantly hooked by tit and the moods they brought. It was a record soaked with doom, stoner, fuze, hazy smoke and a tiny dose of nostalgy. You sip a glass of quality whiskey, play the gorgeous marble vinyl and lose yourself into the dreamy mood of heavy riffs and autumn sadness.
HAZEMAZE are great friends and it is a fact that I don’t hide. I was able to interview the guys twice already, while the second time they were in the Underjord studio, recording their brand new record “Hymns of the Dead”. In the meantime, the Swedish trio signed with Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music, and as of today – 1 November, “Hymns of the Dead” goes on pre-sale till 22 November, when it will hit the world officially with riffs with the size of mastodon mountains.
In fact, I was able to listen to “Hymns of the Dead” for the last four months. It was one of my little secrets, as HAZEMAZE were super kind enough to send me various mixes of their record, incl. the final one. I’m thankful for the trust!
What instantly made me impression – “Hymns of the Dead” is so much heavier than it’s predecessor. It is darker and much more into the heavy crushing doom field, losing part of the eerie fuzzy rhythm and the stoner smoke. The crushing riffs and bass guitar lines are all over the place now, with amazing grooves and psychedelia motifs. “Green River” was the first single off “Hymns of the Dead”. It was released back in the beginning of the summer, and it was obvious that the boys have gone heavier and dirtier, leaving the desert behind.
Of course, the Sabbath worship can be felt clearly since the very first second of the opener “Shadow in the Night”(the second single from the album). The beginning of the track reminded me so much of Sabbath’s “Iron Man” with its groove that I was expecting Ozzy to sing distortedly “I am Iron Man” when the main riff hit. Actually the track has just devastating rhythm and hallucinatory vocals. The mid-tempo groovy “Morbid Lust” continues to drown the listener into the hazy smoke of the 70s, adding visions of dark shadows in the corners. “Thrill Seeker” is another groovy 70s heavy rock tunes and I do love the energetic main riff there. “Lobotomy” and “Solicitor of Evil” are slow, doomy, dragged from the sunlight into the darkness songs. With “Reverend Death” the trio brings back the groove, and again the dust on the face can be felt, while a darker sun is painfully burning the skin. The last track “Forever Trapped in Hell” completes the record in Sabbath style of course, convincing me that: 1) HAZEMAZE have matured a lot 2) HAZEMAZE have created excellent doom/stoner record full of waves of riffs and psychedelia, without any compromises or slipping into lighter areas 3) HAZEMAZE are full of power, ready to overtake your soul (and whiskey glass) and devastate your place with their new album.
I really repeated “heavy doom record” and “darker” several times, but the album is just like this. HAZEMAZE’s “Hymns of the Dead” will blow your head and eardrums – you have been already damned! So what are you waiting for? Meet one of year’s best heavy doom/stoner records! 8.5/10 Count Vlad
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory
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