MetalBite Review by Alex on 5/25/2019 9:28:12 AM
Can't believe Hellfire Ocean Void by Demon Head was not given a greater spotlight when released. This occult doom metal record should be among the hailed metal albums released thus far in 2019, its blend of rock music, gothic/doom vocals and doom metal are one of the best mixes I've heard in a long time with regards to the sub-genre. I’ve heard other bands release records within this vein but was never fully sold on their output.
Hellfire Ocean Void , has a palette of consistency, in that the doom metal element is never lost. I think most of it has to do with the vocals of Ferreira Larsen as they not only have a gothic/hard rock gruff, but also a bedeviled overtone pulling the strings of doom metal. Then there is the compositional makeup of the songs that utilize so much in creating different experiences, but still can be seen as being unified. Another element to point out are the 70's guitar tone that adds that occult feeling to the music. The 70's guitar is the best of any era, it is so rich that it resonates eternally, and to hear it used in a dominant way in the modern era is a pleasure to the ears. “The Night is Yours”, “In the Hour of the Wolf”, “The Labyrinth” all boast a classy yet rough-neck and Kabbalistic countenance; these songs are strong in showcasing the potency of each characteristic appearing on Hellfire Ocean Void. And that’s what you want on a record such as this, competent musicianship that transforms into great mental imagery, and given each song is composed with the aim of making each stand-apart from others, you are never greeted by lack of enthusiasm.
The spirit of this record is strong; the replay-value is high on this 39-minute occult doom/hard rock trip. There is so much commune shared instrumentally that Hellfire Ocean Void feels like a conjuring of sorts by means of a joint expertise. From the smoky connotation of ‘Labyrinth” to the doomed-out elegance of “Mercury and Sulphur”, Hellfire Ocean Void safeguards the energy built through the experience. Sometimes the record gives off a very Blue Oyster Cult vibe particularly when the rock and roll element is pushed to front. Hence, the electric and acoustic guitar work of Gjerluff Nielsen and Gjerlufsen Nielsen is sensational in giving power to that reference, "Spectres" and "Fire of Unknown Origin" come to mind. As for the drumming, Jeppe Wittus plays as though he is beating to a ceremony being performed; vigor and suaveness are manifested through his performance and when combined with all other attributes of Demon Head’s performance on Hellfire Ocean Void, a great deal of stupor is brought into effect.
So surprised that this record was not given more recognition, it runs laps around the chore-sounding efforts of other bands that have tried to create something of this magnitude. Hellfire Ocean Void has turned me into an instant addict of Demon Head's music, definitely going to listen to their past material. A follow-up record would be great when considering how sublime this is, would be good to see if the band can exceed Hellfire Ocean Void.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10