Written by: EW on 24/02/2009 00:30:25

I'm sure that most scenes across a disparate selection of genres have the equivalent bands to (symphonic) black metallers Hermh. Y'know, bands that are indeed good in many ways (production, technique, expertise) but at the same time leave no lasting impression on the listener once the CD has finished it's spin cycle. Like every symphonic BM band before them, Poland's Hermh have obviously been schooled in the Emperor meets Dimmu Borgir world of BM and right from opener "Hairesis" their knowledge of how to use a keyboard for both synth and more technical flourishes is apparent, which alongside the usual speeding, scything riffage of messrs of Socaris and Maar and incessant skin-bashing thanks to Konrad breeds a somewhat more brutal feel to this usual clinical, well-polished domain.

I'm finding it hard to have much to shout about "Cold+Blood+Messiah" (why the '+''s?) as save for the pleasantly serene instrumental "Gnosis" the albums 39 minutes blast past with songs of a homogenous nature, utilising the tried and tested BM shrieks courtesy of Bart and keyboard complexities that in my vast experience as a concert-goer rarely work in the crappy, dingy venues bands of Hermh's nature would be playing in, resulting in said album remaining a true home-listening affair. Like Limbonic Art I can imagine, it all sounds well and good at home but expose it to the ugly world of live performance and all the solid studio production feels well and truly left at home. For a band one feels would NEED to hit the road to really gain a reputation in the crowded metal world, it could be the equivalent of a jackhammer to the throat.

So what's positive then about "Cold+Blood+Messiah"? When the band shows some deviation in the chanted choral vocals of "Sin Is The Law" and "Hairesis" the result is more dramatic and provocative than simple BM shrieks, giving those pieces extra purpose and depth over otherwise rather circumspect and artificial soundscapes. For those who like well-executed extreme metal with no long-term view in their appreciation of the music "Who Can Be Against Us?" and "In My Flesh I See God" are solid and true, publicising a band that can play their instruments and can write songs of an accomplished nature. Yet, if like me you feel that something else is required in 2009 to justify where Hermh should be lauded above their contemporaries then I'm stuck for words.


Download: Hairesis, Sin Is The Law
For The Fans Of: Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Limbonic Art
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.02.2009
Regain Records

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