HellLight – …And Then, The Light of Consciousness Became Hell…   Leave a comment

This is the third full length album from Brazilian doom-metal band HellLight and I guess they want you to get your moneys worth because this album goes on and on and on for almost 80 minutes. Six epic tracks featured on the album are filled with a mixture of passion and despair and are delivered by a chunky guitar sound and warm sounding keyboards. There is piano interludes, mid-tempo detours and clean vocals that give this album something slightly unique in the world of funeral doom/gothic metal but it long and extremely drawn out so you will need some patience to get through this. While this still falls under the banner of funeral doom, there is strong epic-death/black metal elements interwoven throughout the songs that remind me of bands like Bathory, Atlantean Kodex, Astral Sleep and Evoken. I have had this album for a few months now and it has basically taken me that long to really get know the songs on “And Then, The Light of Consciousness Became Hell” and even now after a couple of dozen spins of the disc I am still discovering new things about it. The Bathory comparison I made says it all, not that the band is any kind of rip-off but if you are familiar with mid-era Bathory, you will know what to expect here. This is pagan metal, funeral doom and extremely epic with only 6 songs ranging from 12 to 15 minutes.

What is pleasing about this release is there is no weak tracks but there is no real stand-out track either. The album is consistent but also extremely monotone, slow and oppressive with very little variation. My favorite track is the album closer titled “Beneath The Light Of The Moon” which is a bit more diverse to my ears than the other tracks but basically the formula is the same for the entire 80 minute running time. Crushing guitars, keyboard-driven melody lines and a foreboding, mournful atmosphere. The music is cinematic with some engaging melodies but the repetitions do get a bit grating by the third of fourth track. I am a huge fan of the funeral doom genre but at the same time I feel some bands get it wrong, HellLight however get it right most of the time. The playing is excellent as is the production and all the songs flow with ease. The problem is as a complete piece of work is it is all too long as by the time you hear the first couple of tracks you have heard the entire album. Thankfully it is so good, it still sounds great to the last notes but it is painfully repetitive. A couple of points to be made here, the vocals range from the absolute depressive to growling to melodic and clean and these variations in style keep the songs from becoming too stale. The guitar solos are amazing and there is some really long solos on this album so if you dig lead guitar, you have to hear this. As it is, “And Then, The Light of Consciousness Became Hell” is a good funeral-doom album that could have been even better if they added more clean vocal parts, more mid-tempo shifts and trimmed some of the fat. I would say at least 20 minutes of this album is padding and the album would have more of an impact if some of the ideas were not so bled to death.

The running time of the album is nothing new to this band, the début album, “In Memory of the Old Spirits” and the following release “Funeral Doom” both push the 80 minute mark and both those albums suffer from the same bleeding of ideas as this one does. I like getting value for money as much as the next guy but this is overkill. However, if you are a fan of funeral doom with strong melodies and expert musicianship, it is hard to go past HellLight and this is a good release for the Solitude Productions label……7.5/10
Official Page
HellLight @ Myspace

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Posted March 1, 2011 by doommantia in HellLight

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