Title: Breathing the Void
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Release Date: 29 January 2021
Format reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Black metal can be delivered in so many different ways that it can become complicated, but the band that I am introducing today make it seem effortless with their undiluted old school style of irreverent raw black metal.
Hån (Norwegian for ‘scorn’) are a five-man act from Basel, Switzerland who were founded back in 2009. The band have performed a steady stream of live shows across Europe over the years and have released a demo and one full length album. This month Hån’s second album “Breathing the Void” will be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. I say ‘unsuspecting’ as the band actively avoid social media, so I imagine that most people are unaware of this true evil looming in the shadows.
“Breathing the Void” is scheduled for release on January 29th through Northern Silence Productions, it contains nine tracks and runs for forty-seven minutes. I don’t recall exactly how this promo came to my attention, but I’d gladly pledge my allegiance to dark forces for the promise of finding more albums of this calibre. To put it frankly, this album is colossal.
It’s gritty, bold and hostile with a melodic touch, reminiscent of those from the black metal scene in Finland. The band performs with a finesse that seems at odds with the grim, bleak content but it is superb. There’s a nice balance in the guitars, between delicate melodies and chunky tremolos, which perfectly frame the guttural vocals that constantly spew blasphemous bile. The drums are brutal and relentless, although at times they did sound a bit muted or restrained in the mix.
Some stand out tracks for me were “Breathing the Void”, “Goatman” and the closing track “Salvation” which has an unexpected funky intro. If you appreciate straightforward black metal that relies on the strength of the genre’s raw brutality, and rejects the addition of contemporary, and in this case unnecessary bells and whistles, then Hån is what you are looking for. 8/10 Proua Metallist.
8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**