(Hammer Of Hate)
'Dogma' is the first full length album, following a three track EP, 'Disgust And Misanthropy' in 2009 and a four track demo in 2010, from black Metal quartet Verhext from Uusimaa, Finland.
My thoughts are that it's not a bad album, it's just that it is a somewhat generic sounding, black Metal release that's a bit samey across the tracks but it also has a lot of good aspects the further in you get, making it an album worth persevering with.
The vocals from Kernunnos are okay, a competently executed and typical, black Metal, gut wrenching scream. The guitars are okay also with some pretty good riffs dotted around here and there but therein lies the problem, the fact that it is just okay. The stand out factor for me is the drum work from Ied, which I thought was outstanding, as a result I found myself waiting for the next blast or pattern.
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I do think that the album gets better as it progresses, not because I have become accustomed to it, as repeat listens brought the same conclusion, because of this I think it is it is an album worth persevering with.
There is, however, something good to say about all of the tracks, each has a point of merit and there are no bad tracks, just some are not as gripping as they ought to be.
The opening track,' L.O.S.T.' starts with promise, up tempo with intense, soaring riff work in places. 'Ayatollah' is on the whole a well constructed track; it has great repeat riff that reminded me a little of Kampfar.
The album starts to develop with 'Blood Heritage'; I like the fast tempo and the pounding beat.
'Contempt Of Emptiness' has a good pace and some noteworthy riffs scattered about while 'In Devotion' has, in places, some really great, emotive riffs that expand out to a stunning guitar solo that which pulled me out of the stupor I had started to slip into.
'Sir Signs' is an up tempo track with exciting drum work, particularly in the latter part of the track while 'One With The Void' has nice repeat riff forming the core of the track, great dark sinister drop-away towards the end before the final aural assault, making it an interesting track.
On the final track '...Through Chaos', Verhext really get their game on, it gets exciting and the guitar work across the whole track is superb. The vocals expand into a broad spectrum of screams and wails finally everything matches the drum work for quality and interest; seven more tracks like this would make a superb album.
Although I was slightly disappointed with 'Dogma', I do think that Verhext have captured the classic, raw, black Metal sound. They have kept the production nicely distorted and unpolished but it still needs a little something extra, just to put their own stamp on their interpretation of the genre, hopefully this will manifest on the next album.