Friday, December 7, 2012

Free Music Friday: Mion's Hill- "Festering Curses" Cassette

This week in Free Music Friday, we examine a throwback slab of classic black metal ferocity, courtesy of Norway's own Mion's Hill. When some people talk about "old school" black metal, it's more of a reference to the sounds of Transilvanian Hunger-era Darkthrone or the majesty of Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse. While those albums and groups are absolutely part of my personal collection and have been long-standing favorites, the true origins of black metal are often forgotten by journalists and newer fans of the genre. Mion's Hill's debut demo brings us back to the days of Celtic Frost and Bathory, when thrash was king of the metal world and death and black metal were just beginning to separate from the greater masses of the heavy metal world.

In no way would I label this tape a thrash album, mind you, but the influence is quite apparent. Instead, this is some of the fastest, most vicious black metal I've heard in a while. The production isn't slick, but it isn't muddy either. This is the perfect documentation of a raw and aggressive band that's hellbent on tearing the listener to pieces. The vocals are howled with an evil intent somewhere between a yell and a scream and the music backing them is driving and punishing. Riffs vary from Sabbath-inspired doom to the blistering madness of some of the rawer second-wave black metal groups. If you've ever worn a vest covered in patches or spent time dissecting the musical roots that led to the current state of metal, this album is absolutely written for you. There are echoes of most classic forms of metal at various points in this demo. Rather than sounding like some of these sloppy retro-obsessive bands that just rip off the classics without carving their own style, Mion's Hill have created something unique and timeless here. It's rare that I hear a new band worshiping the old school groups that captures my attention, but they've done it. Each song is perfectly crafted for headbanging, drinking beer, and circle pits.

If you're into these descriptions, check out the Mion's Hill bandcamp for your free download. If you're dedicated to the music, buy a tape and help fund more madness from them. I also noticed they've finally got t-shirts available, so if you're really into it, grab a shirt and tape by sending them an email.

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