Pure Wrath – Hymn To The Woeful Hearts

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From the furthest region of Southeast Asia, Debemur Morti Productions presents the newest album “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” of the atmospheric black metal band Pure Wrath. Founded in 2014 by multi-instrumentalist Januaryo Hardy aka “Ryo“, the third album continues on the tragic ode that focuses on Indonesian history. Thematically the album is dedicated to a mother and the survivor of the 1965 genocide whose son was kidnapped, tortured, and brutally beheaded. Musically the third outing emphasizes epic melodies, containing six melodic songs that show impressive variations in tempo and vocal delivery. The third album also features guest musicians such as Yurii Kononov on drums, Nick Kushnir as an additional guitarist on the opening track, and Dice Midyanti whose innate talent plays a substantial role in providing the beautiful piano lines and cello.

The opening track “The Cloak of Disquiet” almost feels like a symphony where the cello and the strings become the backdrop for the furious drum pummeling. While the style here is very much in the direction of modern black metal, the vocals are catchy and backed by driven tremolo-picked riffs. Pure Wrath conveys its sound with powerful melodies while the drums are played straightforward with blast beats. The melodic nuances are showcased throughout the playtime of forty-four minutes, while the guitars provide plenty of inspiring moments. There isn’t a single moment where the music becomes monotonous. On the contrary, the guitars create sorrowful themes, and this is what makes the music very impressive and appealing.

The guitars are laden with abrasive riffs and weave compelling melodies in terms of variations, the composer incorporates a gloomy atmosphere that renders beautiful passages. The vocals are mainly aggressive and there are some choruses sung in his native tongue. “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” is all about quality composition. The tremolos flow through a fast-paced tempo with the melodic patterns and textures swelling along with the frenzied vocals. Pure Wrath inflects the listener by dramatic transitions and another great feature is the subtle use of synth on “Years of Silence” which gives it a symphonic breadth.

The composer has successfully managed to adjoin the modern aesthetics of epic black metal by merging the delicate piano lines and guitar melodies in a proportional way. “Presages from a Restless Soul” is both rhythmically and melodically engaging, the abrasive riffs and blast beats are incredibly powerful. The tremolos are quite atmospheric at times, especially in the mid-tempo where the orchestral textures play a mournful symphony. And while the lead guitars add certain emotions to the music, you’ll be totally blown away by the remarkable performance. 

Nothing feels forced here, the drums build up momentum and unleash plenty of blast beats while the guitars match the tone of the lamenting vocals. “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” is full of sentimental melodies. Pure Wrath conveys interesting elements where the opening riff of “Footprints of the Lost Child” reflects the dramatic pacing of the drums and the vocals. The innovative songwriting employs synth and clean vocals at the right time. Despite some tempo changes, the cello instrument and the cascading synth enrich the interplay of the musical textures. Songs like “Those Who Stand Still” brim with energetic tempo and sorrowful themes. There are many moments when the music reminds me of Drudkh. The black metal rasps and tremolo-picked riffs create dark shaded landscapes with background layers of synth blended in superb melange.

Even though I wish the synth had been used a bit more often than the clean vocals, the five songs show great degrees of using rich and subtle layers regardless that. “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” is abrasive and melodic, the songs are equally compelling and dramatically intriguing. Closing and title track “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” fluently brings the instrumental sounds of the strings, drums, cello, and piano to perfect harmonization. This is a fantastic release which I happen to stumble upon by surprise, I never had any clue about this band earlier. But after listening to Pure Wrath’s third album I must say that this is shaping up to be one of the strongest black metal albums I have heard so far this year.  

Release Date: February 18th, 2022
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Tracklist:

  1. The Cloak of Disquiet
  2. Years of Silence
  3. Presages from a Restless Soul
  4. Footprint of the Lost Child
  5. Those Who Stand Still
  6. Hymn to the Woeful Hearts

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music9/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics9/10
  • Production9/10
  • Artwork8/10
  • Originality8/10
8.6“Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” is abrasive and melodic with the songs being equally compelling and dramatically intriguing. Recommended for fans of bands like Drudkh, this is one of the strongest black metal albums I have heard so far this year.
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