Review by Vladimir on April 3, 2023.
Todverhexen is a one-man black metal band from Chile, formed in 2021 by an anonymous individual by the name of Rotserbaen. So far, the band’s roster consisted of one single and a demo released via Ars Negative, both of which were called Ätherisches Grab. As of March 20th, 2023, the band’s first full album Verbotene Hexerei was released via the label Humanity's Plague Productions. Humanity's Plague Productions is a very respected US label which has a solid roster of underground black metal artists worldwide, so it should come as no surprise to have Todverhexen be a part of that same roster. So, let’s see what sort of “Forbidden Witchcraft” the band has to offer.
The first track 'Tödliche Geißeln' which kicks everything off, opens up with sounds of a medieval battle with sword fighting in the background, before switching to raw black metal consisted of aggressive and primitive tremolo riffing and drumming, and shrieking harsh vocals in the vein of Ihsahn in the early days of Emperor. Tracks such as 'Presence Of Unluminous Mysteries' and 'Stigma Der Nichtexistenz' slow things down a bit rhythmically to create a somewhat moody feeling but afterwards go right back into fast black metal, with an acoustic section serving as the song’s outro. The final track 'Profanation Of An Unnameless Tomb', which is personally my favorite track on this album, is quite a catchy one and it even includes synths on top that provide an epic feel to the ongoing rawness. What’s interesting about the album itself is that every song ends by simply transitioning right to the next one with either a riff or sound effect without a second of pause, just jumping straight to continuation giving it a somewhat organic and live feeling that obviously doesn’t even think about a second of relief before proceeding to the next one. The songwriting formula is very consistent throughout the rest of the album, keeping things straight to the point with simple arrangements and kickass riffs that don’t disappoint. Apart from the fact that the album is pretty much oldschool black metal music, it should be mentioned that its entirety has somewhat of a dark medieval, bewitching and vampiric atmosphere to it which I really like beside all the catchy primitive riffs and Ihsahn-like vocals. The sound production is raw but still well produced where you can clearly hear each instrument and the vocals, whereas the vocals in the mix have added reverb that sound like the screams are echoing from the distance or a cave maybe.
Overall, it is a pretty simple and straightforward black metal release that doesn’t provide anything stellar, but it is an enjoyable album nonetheless. I think that Todverhexen really nailed this one and will hopefully continue to give us more amazing releases in the future. I’d recommend this band and its releases to more dedicated followers of underground black metal and enjoyers of the oldschool sound like myself.
Rating: 8 out of 10259