Havohej – Table of Uncreation

Band: Havohej
Title: Table of Uncreation
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Release date: 15 November 2019
Country: United States
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

HAVOHEJ, which is Jehova spelled backward, is a US one-man Black Metal project by PROFANATICA’s Paul Ledney. Both these projects are among the oldest and thus most essential American Black Metal projects, arising almost as early as some of the Norwegian greats like MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE and more. PROFANATICA already released a great, brutal and raw album in the form of “Rotting Incarnation of God” this year, and now it’s time for Ledneys solo project to deliver some new material as well, with the aim, as taken from the bands Bandcamp site, to “challenge the hardiest and hardened ears – and defile them forevermore”. One thing I can assure, “Table of Uncreation” is definitely not an easy listen, on the opposite, it gets quite unpleasant at points. The question at hand now is if it’s worth to dig through the sonic mud of this new record… and to answer it is not an easy task, I am actually quite split on what to think of this. I generally found enjoyable elements on here, yet there are also some complaints, both of which I’ll explain as we go through HAVOHEJ’s latest abomination.

The first remark I want to make is that you should certainly not expect a Black Metal album when going into “Table of Uncreation”, that much is clear from the opener “God of All Constellation” alone. Eerie ambience and metallic percussion open the album before your ear canals are promptly pierced by burning noise, only supported by the echoey, yet compelling drums. The vocals later commence in the form of deep growls with the occasional slimy and ghoulish Black Metal scream. Some guitars are present, yet hardly audible, hidden under deep layers of aural mud. On “The Black King” among an intensifying drum-sound the guitars, which again are muddled by a noise-wall, take on a sound that to me was very HELLHAMMER-like, something I enjoyed a lot.

An uncanny synth wobbling transitions directly into the next track, “Seven Jinn”, featuring low-pitched whispering before the more Death Metal like growls fade for something closer to Black Metal screams. Crunchy, saw-like guitars pierce through the wall of noise on this song, making it a bit more musical overall. Later on, the burning noise changes, the closest I can describe it as is that it sounds more “fluid”, as if you are getting immerged in some mad Alchemists pool of toxic brew. The title track “Table of Uncreation” offers what are in my opinion the most compelling drum-patterns of the whole album, before an uncanny, noisy outro, reminiscent of a demonic choir, leads into the next track. “All Time is Now” & “Before Them and Behind Them” feature some of the most relentless drummings on the record and also introduce a bigger focus on some chilling electronic elements.

The closing track “Fatir” is one of my favourites on the record, offering distant, wraith-like screams in combination with slow, pounding drums. Eerie industrial sounds make you feel as if in a demonic factory, in which the souls of the damned are being tortured, before repeated sound loops with underlying ghostly whispers fade out to end the album.

Up until now, this may sound pretty good to some, not bad to most I’d say. Here is where my complaints come in: The muddied guitar comes through the noise-wall on very few points, I’m not even sure that all tracks have the guitar on it, it’s mostly burning noise with doomy drums and growls on top. Also, one of the two shorter tracks, I’d call them “interludes” perhaps, although they aren’t distinct from the rest of the tracks, titled “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, as well as the track “Impossible Force” are extremely underwhelming & unremarkable in my opinion. Taking notes on multiple listens, I only wrote down one note for the first and absolutely none for the second. To me, these just seem like sonic mush with not much worth in the overall album-construct. A general complaint is also that the tracks are on the whole just not that distinct from one another, very few elements would help me tell them apart.

Concluding, HAVOHEJ’s newest album isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t really stand out in the discography of the project. The first listen surely was the hardest, and just going off that, my ranking would’ve been worse. After more listens and digging into the aural sludge of “Table of Uncreation”, I’ve found multiple elements I enjoyed: The drumming is competent and enjoyable throughout, the vocals are solid and interesting at points, yet the complaints I have to prevent the album from really appealing to me. Some may call this a total dumpster-fire, fans of noisier music could possibly enjoy this and call it a good album, I personally have ambivalent feelings as shown and stand between these two sides I just explained. If you are into noise and music with a harsher sound, you may like this album, if not, stay away from it. 4/10 the trve Medvson

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4/10 There is some hope yet
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