Of Babalon

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Band Name The Howling Wind
Album Name Of Babalon
Type Album
Erscheinungsdatum 17 Juli 2012
Musik GenreBlack Metal
Mitglieder die dieses Album besitzen0


1. The Seal Upon the Tomb 07:50
2. Beast of the Sea 03:51
3. Graal 05:28
4. Scaling the Walls 06:39
5. The Mountain View 06:04
6. Abominations and Filth 03:41
7. Choronzon 04:15
8. Gateways 06:03
9. Horus/Aggressor 04:39
Total playing time 48:30

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The Howling Wind

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Review @ VesselsOfBlood

08 August 2012

Night-Terror Black Metal

Profound Lore Records has always held plenty of great metal acts in the palms of its hands, including Agalloch, Disma, SubRosa, and Altar Of Plagues. New York black metal duo The Howling Wind is no exception. Forming from other numerous metal acts such as Unearthly Trance and Aldebaran as Drifting Collision around 2006, these guys hit the metal scene pretty hard with their vicious black metal onslaughts. After the release of a few records, including “Pestilence Peril” in 2007 and “Into the Cryosphere” in 2010, The Howling Wind managed to attract some attention among the metal masses. However, that recognition now ought to rise even more, now that they’ve released their third full-length record, “Of Babalon.” This duo has returned in 2012 with some new and haunting black metal tunes that should not be ignored.

The musicianship in “Of Babalon” is nothing totally complex and technical, but there’s no need for that for the type of music this band plays, either. The vocals mainly consist of high-pitch snarls that sound like they were recorded in the darkest corners of a cavern. They also completely fit the atmospheric and gloomy mood of the music itself. The guitar work is probably the largest highlight of the band’s musicianship, with nightmarish melodic and catastrophic tunes that make the music incredibly gripping, if not horror-inducing. In tracks such as “Graal,” the guitar work spirals into a ghastly whirlwind, sucking the listeners into a dimension of pure terror. Lastly, the drums are pretty solid and simple, but it accompanies the rest of the music well. Overall, the musicianship in “Of Babalon” sees no true downsides.

Unlike in their previous efforts, The Howling Wind seems to be stepping away from their doom metal roots from their other works. Ryan Lipynsky, who does the vocals, guitars, and bass for the band, has been involved in doom metal projects such as Unearthly Trance and Serpentine Path, and that influence could really be seen in “Pestilence Peril” and “Into the Cryosphere.” However, in exchange for that, the band has started to truly embrace the atmospheric and bleak side of the black metal world. This alone is a great leap forward for this band, because it really enhances the haunting tone that their music always had. “The Mountain View” and “Graal” demonstrate this best. “The Mountain View” opens with a gloomy and sluggish march of echoing guitars before evolving into a vicious typhoon of raw and unrelenting black metal, and “Graal” drags the listener kicking and screaming into the horrible abyss. On the other hand, tracks such as “Scaling the Walls” are not as vicious as the others, but the dark atmosphere is still there, and it ultimately ties the tracks together just nicely. “Of Babalon” is simply loaded with haunting and vile black metal tracks, and it’s all incredibly definitive of its eerie genre.

Of Babalon” may very well be one of the most eerie records to have crawled out of the black metal swamp. Even the lyrics have a demonic story behind them. They eloquently tell the stories of an English occultist named Aleister Crowley, who is also nicknamed “The Great Beast 666.” They mainly focus on the Scarlet Woman Babalon (Hence the album title and the scarlet-red artwork), who is also known as “the Mother of Abominations.” This type of lyrics obviously matches the sinister metal madness found in this record, and it makes the concept of the album more intriguing as well. The music is raw, creepy, well-crafted, and extremely dark, and the tracks are distinct enough from each other, making the album much more interesting and gripping to listen to. Any fan of black metal should give “Of Babalon” a shot. This black metal duo really shows its true and horrifying colors in this record, and it’s official: The Howling Wind has unveiled to the world one of the most superbly terrifying metal albums ever created this year.

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