Review 1820 : Ancient Torment x Haxen – The Howling Gale – English

Ancient Torment and Haxen seal their union with a split.

Called The Howling Gale, it is released in 2023 by Eternal Death, and featured two tracks by Ancient Torment, an American band formed in 2016 that has released an EP and a demo, as well as three tracks by Haxen, also an American band that has released six demos, an album and another split.

The split opens with Ancient Torment‘s first track, A Solitary Grave Illuminated By the Light of the Morningstar, offering a very Old School, majestic approach to raw Black Metal. The various raucous vocal parts slowly come to life in this hazy, oppressive mix guided by dark, haunting melodies, which occasionally energize with blast. The band’s second track, Outlaw Cleansed Waters, takes a much more aggressive approach, letting blistering leads drive the wild charge, while also integrating impressive sounds on some passages.

Haxen will offer a much dirtier sound from Blood on the Fire, their first track, where the catchy martial approach quickly appears. The hoarse screams also respect the unhealthy tones, with a steady rhythm which suddenly explodes, leading us to the final solo, then to Cave and Solitude, which reveals a much more melancholic sound. The haunting sounds will be erased by the faster parts rooted in Old School influences, just like on Black Eyes of Dog and its jerky rhythm the band uses to create its final wave of raw demonic power, letting abrasive sounds reign.

The Howling Gale leaves no doubt that Ancient Torment and Haxen have both mastered Black Metal’s rawest and most Old School arcanas, making this collaboration a most welcome window into the past.


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