2022, Reviews

#PureWrath 🇮🇩 Hymn to the Woeful Hearts

Band: Pure Wrath
Title: Hymn to the Woeful Hearts
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 18 February 2022
Country: Indonesia
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording

I’m always blown away by the creative energies of one-person bands. These are people who are overseeing all of the little and big details that go into the making of an album… That is the case with the band I am reviewing today, Pure Wrath. Not only was this body of work brutal, but it also holds searing heartbreak and rage. There existed such bridges between the mood and style being displayed on the album and the traipsing back and forth from stunning melodic synths, heavy guitar work, and drums that eat up the spaces in between.

Pure Wrath is Januaryo Hardy, a multi-talented musician who is the vocal, guitars, synths, songwriter, and lyric creator for the band. On this third album, “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts”, he was assisted by guest musicians: Yuri Kononov on drums; Dice Midyanti on piano, cello, and additional music elements; and, Nick Kushnir as additional guitar for the track “Hymn to the Woeful Heart”.

Just to give you a bit of background on this album, this is based partly on a horrific, dark chapter in Indonesian history, the genocide from 1965. This is a dedication to a survivor of the genocide whose son was kidnapped and never seen alive again. She (the mom), for more than 50 years had to pretend all was normal whilst still living under the shadows of the perpetrators still in power. She could not mourn.

Pure Wrath is atmospheric black metal and takes tangents into melodic too. To me it’s not just one sound or genre, it carries a lot of influences that stand out to me, for those differences.

The first track, “The Cloak of Disquiet”, begins in a mournful passage, of guitar and synth, and sounds of a cello. A bridge builds up tension, of instrument, to a primal screamed vocal. Guitars and drums come in and fill in that mournful start with a brutal rampage of sound. A harmony of vocal and discordant notes in instruments comes in and give another side and mood to this track. Guitars are skillfully played with the black metal speed deliver and intense tremolos. One last primal scream that echoes off, to finish this track.

The second track, “Years of Silence”, is discordance, technically delivered in guitars, with drums coming in to counterpoint and slam out a rhythm. The tone of heavy arduous notes, the sadness being punctuated by the mood of the music. Damn, guitars bludgeoning a rhythm and tortured vocals, and piano, a bridge to another foray of savage guitars and drums. More harmonies of discordance are being expressed. The piano is so full of mourning, at the close of this track.

The third track, ”Presages from a Restless Soul”, hits me here, is the weaving of guitar, drums, and intense scream in the vocal. Lashes your mind, with punishing and driven energies.

The fourth track, “Footprints of the Lost Child”, tremolo and blasting drums to begin this with a guttural vocal to add more to the intense nature of this beginning. This song continues on the melodic metal side of things, with the clean vocal harmonies and an easing of the black metal sharpness and raw sound. The guitar work is slower and more melodic, but those drums don’t stop.

A backbeat, and coming to the forefront at points of this track. Next is a segue to a beautiful melodic passage of guitars and synths. The close of the track is ear blistering riffs and vocals that gain in rage.

The fifth track, “Those Who Stand Still”, strikes me here again, is how skillfully this track is balanced between all the elements heard in it.

The sixth track, “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts”, has some amazingly simple notes, beautifully played on synth and guitar to begin. The track continues to meander to the simplicity of beautiful notes. Some melancholic pieces of music thread into the already established rhythm of music and it gives more depth and expression.

Pure Wrath expresses so much in this album, so much of the pain, hurt, and rage emotions. Also the expression of inner strength and the fight to go on. All skillfully played in instruments and voice, and if you want this kind of full-on sound, this album is for you. I give a 7.5/10 Metal Marie

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7.5/10: Victory is Possible!
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