Hladomrak – Arctic Hysteria (Review)

HladomrakThis is the second album by Hladomrak, a Swedish black metal band.

The band’s 2013 debut album was an enjoyable slab of cold-as-ice black metal that used melody well in its dark, frozen approach to the blackened style.

On Arctic Hysteria the band continue on this course that they set for themselves, albeit one in which they have tightened up and refined their blackened assault.

With a sharp, clean, and crisp recording you can hear pretty much everything the band get up to. The standard second-wave black metal template is adhered to, but Hladomrak add their own spice into the mix to make it their own.

Mainly mid-paced, (but not exclusively), the riffs and melodies speak of cold, frosted climes. Although this can be said of countless black metal bands, I like that Hladomrak have their own nuances in the guitar department. Taking frequent forays into technical territories, as well as occasionally more brutal ones, the band also deploy some lesser-heard melodies across the tracks, some of which are quite infectious in their catchiness.

I particularly like the vocals on this release. The singer’s screams are scything and high-pitched. They cut deep and always draw blood.

Arctic Hysteria is a very enjoyable album full of black metal that’s ostensibly of the standard traditional fare, but on closer inspection reveals a more nuanced delivery. Hladomrak have improved on what they do with their second album, and I heartily recommend that you check this out.

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