Hanging Fortress – Darkness Devours

Band: Hanging Fortress
Title: Darkness Devours
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Release date: 06 November 2020
Country: USA
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

More and more things appear to be hanging these days. About a year ago i remember reviewing something called Hanging Garden, but now it was time for a fortress to be hanging, and their debut full-length album “Darkness Devours”. So, stay tuned for the coming Friday, as Hanging Fortress steps up from singles and Eps.

Ill-willed and up-to-no-good metal is promised from the start as “Burned Alive” opens the debut, and sure enough, before long true traditional death-metal manners are in the frontline. Insanely heavy drums and guitars strike immediately, and in fact, the bass drum is so prominent in the mix that it just shoves everything else out of it´s path. It almost sounds like it´s recorded in a giant shower, and yet it works somehow. Having perfect production is not what this is about; heads are supposed to bang. Usually, on the way, you meet up with the track that holds the album title, but here you can find a track that holds the entire band´s name and as I figured that this better be good, it turned out to start up almost as doom metal before turning to the previous heavy-as-fudge-ways.

By “Blood Mountain”, you sort of know what to expect. And then they turn the tables on you. It´s much faster and even contains some blast beats as the guitars are very tight to the drums, which gives it a good overall impression.

A huge sounding china cymbal starts “Drown” and it is yet another slow, very heavy tune in the same format as most of the previous tracks. Traditional riffing, low guttural vocals, a lot of hi-hats, and slow drumming. It´s all there for sure. For a moment I thought there would be a guitar solo, but they settled on a huge guitar dive bomb instead.

The last track, “Killing You”, is in business with a very tight heavy main riff. That simple, yet effective riff alone made this track my favorite of the album, and the breakdown is a bit melodic even, in its heavy ass chunky riffs kind of way.

Overall, this is quite well played traditional, American death metal that has a whole lot of elements from doom. The strange, yet heavy, the production makes the ship almost tip over and I do wonder if this album would perhaps have made even more of an impact if the faster double bass drums had been skipped. It is up to expectations in this genre, however, with fat vocals which are on point but compared to the oh so many other bands out there that do the exact same thing I wouldn´t be able to pick it out of a lineup. But as a first full-length album, I think this group is on the right path. 6.5/10 Julia Katrin

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6.5/10 We may survive!
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