Ah, metal. The gift that truly keeps giving. I’m certain that in my life I will not be able to hear all of the incredible metal bands that have existed and while I’m comfortable with that fact, it doesn’t preclude me from constantly wanting to hear more. Praise the elder gods for metal friends who drop incredible recommendations in my lap and help me fill in a bit more of that awesome metal shelf.

Take Hades for example. My buddy told me he was on a Hades kick last week. Not having heard this band before, he suggested I track down their two full-lengths. I did just that.

Hades was active in the Norwegian black metal scene in the mid nineties. The wealth of bands coming from the Scandinavian scene at that time must have been something amazing to witness, but I digress. For the most part, the band was fairly stable with members sticking to the band and only two venturing out into other bands, or coming from other bands. One of them being Jørn Inge Tunsberg who provided keyboards on Immortal’s demo. Not that that means they have anything in common sound wise with Immortal, I just found it interesting that the band consists of members not in 10 other bands.

Hades main sound is a rawer black metal sound, focussing mostly on Viking lore. What really stuck me about this band is the incredible musicianship on display. Their melodic structures are amazing and the rhythm section is a thing of beauty. They barely employ any atmospherics and focus mostly on the fury of the instruments to weave their viking epic-ness, and in a world where most viking theme bands scrape the surface or go for an all out atmospheric approach (some good some bad) Hades doesn’t fuck around and know exactly how to craft incredible songs without all the padding. That is, at least on the first album.

Dawn offers more of what was on the first album but In a more epic fashion. The album doesn’t go crazy with the speed, instead settles on a nice mid-paced canter that relies on crushing you with folk infused riffs, that amazing rhythm section, and incredible, furious vocals. There are some acoustic passages, some atmospherics present, but for the most part, like the last album, the instruments drive the sound, and what an incredible fucking sound it is. Both albums are fucking fantastic but this one is damn near perfect. Maybe a black metal masterpiece. Go damn I love when music like this happens to me. Listen to these fucking albums. Do it.