Review by Felix on December 26, 2021.
Gehenna started as a promising band with a fine sense for atmospheric black metal. The flickering melodies as well as the more brutal eruptions of their first official releases almost never failed to generate a dark aura. Brutality was not a taboo, but the group usually worked with other means. And (applause, applause) Gehenna were not lazy, they developed steadily. What made it difficult was the fact that they ran in the wrong direction. This situation culminated in Murder which was the last album before the band took a hiatus of five years.
This collection of dissonant chords is the highly impressive demonstration of a band that shits on its talent while making crude sounds. Gehenna stumble through the mediocre tunes as if they were absolute beginners. Lurching from one forgettable line to the next, brutality seems to be their new and only friend. Unfortunately, the band does not realize that it wastes its time in bad company.
First of all, the vocals suck. The mechanized voice is not able to contribute a grain of charisma. Neither variable nor diabolic, these vocals just want to sound as inhumane as possible. Any type of vocal lines is omitted. It is almost unbelievable that a formation, which proved its song-writing skills on former works impressively, fails to realize the unsuitability of its doing. Yet it is a fact that the insubstantial vocals match with the meaningless guitar work in a very sad way. Whenever a more or less acceptable line shows up, it gets quickly killed by the next break. But do not mourn for the dead harmonies excessively. Their number is extremely limited. Fortunately, the same applies to the amount of the gruesome guitar solos.
To get to the heart of the issue, Gehenna failed completely in terms of song-writing. The playtime of 31 minutes, which is artificially extended by an absolutely useless intro and the rerecording of 'Master Satan', indicates the amazing lack of musical ideas. Speaking of 'Master Satan', this tune from the year 1998 tramples the other songs into the grave. Its vibrant riff at the beginning guarantees a certain quality level and makes this tune to the best track of the album. But as the old saying goes, among the blind a one-eyed is the king. Well, I have to mention a further "one-eyed song" in order to stay fair. 'The Dead' finalises the album and that is a positive thing per se. Nevertheless, this marks the only new track that presents a violent mix of fury and evilness. It opens wide its throat and shows that Gehenna have not completely forgotten how to compose a fairly violent song. Too little, too late.
With regard to the compositions, I can hardly believe that anybody wants to be informed about the details of the production. Anyway, it is an acceptable, typical death metal sound, neither outstanding nor lousy. The question still remains, however, why these tunes were produced at all.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10368