Album Title: The Collection
Label: Blood Fire Death/Regimental
This is a demo collection from Hellkult, a Finnish band that later evolved into Wyrd. They play raw pagan black metal.
Hellkult's guitar work is very raw and unpolished, which of course suits this style of metal. The vocals here range from snarls to screams. They're easily the best part of this collection, as they really drive home the rage and frustration in these songs. The drumming is straightforward, but alternates between a frantic pace and stately progressions, both of which are equally effective. The drums are strangely high in the mix during the first two demos - fortunately, this works well with Hellkult's style, and gives the songs a more punishing atmosphere.
For the most part, these songs are constructed of primitive, repetitive riffs, upon which the vocals and drumming are layered. Early Burzum is the obvious reference point, here, though a more direct influence is the work that members of this band put in with Azaghal. In fact, the songwriting here is closer to early Azaghal than to Wyrd. You can certainly hear Wyrd in this, from time to time, especially during the final demo on the CD, but on the whole, Hellkult's songs are far more aggressive than Wyrd.
Fortunately, these are some excellent songs in their own right, whether or not you enjoy Wyrd. These demos are quite memorable, full of great songs and a fine sense of pacing and composition. Hellkult's demos have been favorites of mine for years, and it's great to have them pressed to CD at last. This CD is highly recommended, especially for fans of Azaghal, Wyrd, and Finnish black metal in general.
Standout Tracks: "God Is the Enemy", "Darkness", "The Summoning of Elder Gods", "Ancient Pagan Earth Reborn".