Satanath Record has been one of the better record labels out there when it comes to exposing listeners to metal from all corners of the globe, and this is once again the case with the upcoming release of Garhelenth’s second full length ‘About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy’. Originally based in Iran before moving to Georgia and Armenia, the black metal group formed as the solo project of guitarist/vocalist Hilnorgoth in 2010, with second guitarist Sagroth joining in 2014. Since that time Garhelenth has released quite a bit of material, with this year’s full length following an EP, album, and split in 2016. With ‘About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy’ set to come out December 14th as a co-release between Satanath Records and The Eastern Front, today we’re excited to premiere the song Moral To Pessimist.
‘About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy’ takes a significant amount of influence from the Scandinavian black metal sound, but rather than going for non-stop blast beats Garhelenth switches the tempo up quite a bit. Moral To Pessimist certainly has an air of familiarity to it, as right from the very beginning the guitar tonality delivers that icy chill and rough edge that black metal fans would expect. Early on the speed of the instrumentals give off a slightly thrashier vibe alongside the more traditional side of the genre, but around the halfway point the band slows things down a bit and moves towards leads that have more of an epic feel to them. The other tracks that have been released from the album so far are structured in a similar manner, as Garhelenth likes to attack the listener early on and then finish things off with a slow burning, darker passage. But the strength of the riffs allows the songs to be distinguishable from each other despite some similar patterns, and the clarity of the production (which comes off as slightly polished but not overly so) adds to the intensity.
Hilnorgoth’s vocals channel Norwegian black metal just as much as the instrumentation, as his higher screams cut right through your speakers like barbed wire. He maintains this pitch for much of the song, but what stood out to me the first time I heard Moral To Pessimist was the amount of variation present in the vocal performance. The higher screams have some lower pitches supporting them during key moments, and the second half of the song transitions over to softer ranges that give off a feeling of madness. Where so many other groups stick with the same vocal range to the point of repetition, this variation works in Garhelenth’s favor.
Garhelenth may be from a completely different part of the world than where black metal’s roots lie, but the group has continued to do the style justice on their sophomore full length. They’ve channeled some familiar influences but the material does a good job of moving between blistering attacks and slower, haunting moments that are sure to capture your attention. ‘About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy’ is out on December 14th.