Huronian – Beyond Frozen Heights (Gruesome Records)

Monday, 11th September 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Born in 2020, Italian quartet Huronian set a course to recreate the glory days of melodic death metal with blackened elements. Issuing a self-titled EP that included a Dissection cover, their debut album for Dolorem Records As Cold As a Stranger Sunset came out in the fall of 2021 – setting things up with Portuguese label Gruesome Records with Beyond Frozen Heights. A tidy five-track offering that creates a swirling storm of chaos in just over fourteen minutes, you can expect stunning energy from top to bottom, these musicians pushing the parameters of their abilities as artists, incorporating the best of 90’s/early 2000’s influences in the melodic death/black landscape.

The seventy-six second intro “The Guild” features lush keyboard orchestration plus vibrant classical acoustic guitar picking – setting the stage for the thunderous, speedy riffs and savage vocals of the follow-up “Torturer’s Creed”. Most will be impressed by the upstroke/downstroke tremolo action as well as the circular twin guitar melodies from rhythm guitarist UMP (Umberto Poncina) as well as guest lead player Tommaso Pellegrini (Human), the tempo shifting from colder, blackened measures to a comfortable platform with elements of Death at play. MM’s (Marcello Malagoli) drum four count sets “Over Frozen Heights Part 1” into motion, another adrenaline-oriented number where blitzkrieg, bombastic leads mirror the crazy main hooks, giving vocalist DL (Daniele Lupidi) a chance to destroy through his spitfire growls, taking John Tardy’s framework into a slightly more discernible delivery. By the time “Blazing Bolt of Hatred” finishes things off with its cultural twists against the natural death/black fusion, most listeners will be reverting to the intro again, as the authenticity plus raw passion that penetrates these songs deserves multiple playbacks immediately.

Huronian incorporates the best elements of early Scandinavian death/black metal to Beyond Frozen Heights for this to be a sweet, short yet satisfying effort. Hopefully the band is hard at work on the next full-length, as there’s plenty of ability/talent at this style for these gentlemen to explore.

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