Anhkrehg
Lands of War

Lands of War is the fifth release by Anhkrehg, the fully corpsepainted brutal war black metal band from Plessisville, Quebec. In their own words, “In early 1993, when black metal was still in the deep underground of America, guitarist Blacknight teamed up with an inspired bass/ vocalist Khayr and hate is born, it’s name, Anhkrehg.” In 2000 new drummer Infurya, from MALVERY, joins, and Lands of War showcases his talent. Is this traditional black metal? The Darkthrone/Immortal/Bathory influence is definitely present, but the production is better. Brutal grim vocals, a few traditional shrieks and the occasional intense clean vocals are well done. Most is fairly easy to understand after a few listens, which is quite an accomplishment considering they sacrificed absolutely no intensity in the vocals. The low-pitched shrieks are a great variation on the black metal style. Infurya provides top-notch drumming, rapid-fire blast beats with lots of variation and thunderous double bass. The guitars show some rhythms that Mille Petrozza would be proud of; very good use of slow, heavy guitars as break from full speed fury. Where other bands use acoustic guitars for interludes, Anhkrehg uses heavy passages reminiscent of Terrible Certainty era Kreator. They range from the all out speed of Marduk to mid-paced Immortal like atmospheres with a healthy dose of early eighties thrash guitars. No synthesizers needed here. Very intense, angry start to the album opening with a singing chant with clear shouted vocals. The background orchestration is typical of the genre, but very appropriate here, as it leads well into the In Battle type speed of track two, “Revenge of the Black Godz.” Three tracks stand out, “Le Champs Des Morts;” drumming is actually subtle on this slow song that shows good variety with guitars slow and heavy. “Revelation X” starts with a fast paced double bass with slow guitar rhythms leading into warp speed. The pace varies throughout, really showcasing the excellent drumming. There is even a brief choir chant. The “Nous Sommes Une Partie De La Legion De Baal” intro reminds me of early Voivod. There is even a brief bass solo, which this long time Motorhead fan appreciates. Which leads me to my only real complaint with the album. The bass guitar is really buried, which is actually a common problem with black metal. To nit pick a little, the drumming is very accomplished, but suffers from inadequate sound. The double bass passages should be thunderous, reverberating. It’s not a poor sound, just that the drums deserve to stand out even more than they do, like the drums on Immortal’s Blizzard Beasts. After repeated listens, there are no weak moments, and several parts really stand out. If this album came out in 1987 it would have blown me away. Coming out in 2000, it easily makes my top ten for the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
January 7th, 2001

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