Pure Wrath – Hymn to the Woeful Hearts (Review)

Pure Wrath - Hymn to the Woeful HeartsThis is the third album from Indonesian one-man black metal band Pure Wrath.

While the name Pure Wrath might conjure images of ultraviolent brutality of some sort, what we actually get on this album is 44 minutes of atmospheric black metal with an emphasis on melancholic emotion. Joined by a handful of other musicians, (including the ex-drummer of White Ward), the artist behind Pure Wrath has crafted an album of emotive darkness.

The music is rooted in grief and loss, which the songs explore with granular attention to detail; this is music completely imbued with feeling, from the anguished screams to the mournful clean singing, from the pained guitars to the forlorn synths. Every song is adept at combining the standard blackened ingredients together to produce something quite satisfying. The music is true to the old-school symphonic strain of atmospheric black metal, yet feels just as fresh and darkly vibrant as it would have done had it come out in the 90s.

Everything about this album feels high quality. Its majestic delivery is professional, yet not lacking in passion. All of the instruments are well-performed, and elements like piano, cello, and acoustic guitars simply add to the music’s tasteful portrayal of tragedy. Well-written and structured, Hymn to the Woeful Hearts is awash with power and potency. Pure Wrath’s atmospheric blackened sorrow is well-realised.

Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a band with the name of Pure Wrath, but it wasn’t something as bleakly graceful as this. Hymn to the Woeful Hearts is an enjoyable slice of melancholic atmospheric black metal and definitely one you should check out if you’re in any way fond of the style.

Very highly recommended indeed.

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