Viking metal pioneers Hades Almighty return from the wilderness

If Bergen, Norway’s Hades Almighty aren’t widely recognised as pioneers of Viking metal, the only conceivable reason is that their last release was in 2001.

But despite a name change from Hades in 1998, the band never officially split up, and for those still in thrall to their two previous albums, Millennium Nocturne and The Pulse Of Decay, October 23 is day to to offer thanks to the gods, because the heathens are returning with a new three-track EP, Pyre Era, Black!, on Dark Essence Records, with a full album due to crash upon your shores next year.

Featuring Kampfar/Krakow drummer Ask Ty on imperiously powerful vocals, Pyre Era, Black! is another evolutionary leap for a band who have refused to sail the same waters twice, each of the tracks flooding the senses with mesmerisingly recurring riffs that, rather reach a point of stasis, build and build into an uncontainable, epic surge, like watching ever-multiplying longboats bearing down on you as they emerge from a mist.

“Hades Amighty are back!” the band themselves declare. “Pyre Era, Black! represents the cold winds, the flaming pyres and the funeral storms of ancient times. Like them we never fade out, instead lingering in the timeless rifts, ready to strike. Three songs, three manifestations of what is to come. We are ready!”

Hades Almighty now sound as all-conquering as Behemoth, and thanks to the band and the frankly alluring folk at Dark Essence, we stand proud and spittle-flecked to offer a not so much a stream as a full-on storm of the EP in all its 20 minutes of soul-ravishing glory. Stride to the prow of your battleship, declare everything in sight is yours for the plundering and raise a banner to Pyre Era, Black! below!

Storm onto Hades Almighty’s Facebook page here!

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.