“Let Them Die,” the debut album from Hark from the Tomb is a statement of utter contempt for the current state of humanity as a species. The two founding members share a history in the Swedish Black Metal scene harking back to the 90’s and this is their first release under this new name…..and that is all I know about this mysterious band, Black Metal has always loved to bathe itself in dark intrigue but so far these guys are doing better than most.
The commonality, theme wise, across the tracks of “Let Them Die” is humanity’s inability, or at least a significant proportion of THEM “ to evolve intellectually, the revolting character of mankind as a whole, and the unforgivable error of letting religion exist as anything more than an artefact of Bronze Age mythology” and “the combination of easily led idiots, the charlatans that exploit the weak, and the ultimately cataclysmic symbiosis of the dumb and the evil that collectively holds back humanity as a species is the worst and most poisonous trait that both threatens the survival of humanity as a whole, and the source of the revulsion that led to the creation of Let Them Die” points that a few of us align to and concur with.
However, the only real factor that matters is, does it sound any good? but if you’ve read this far you’ve already established that it does or I’d not be wasting your or my time, it’s nothing overly unique it’s just good raw, contempt filled Black Metal, brutal, unrelenting and filthy, in the tried and tested old school lo-fi Scandinavian style, that is well composed and delivered.
“Let Them Die” is nine tracks spanning thirty-three minutes, opening with “Bring Forth Armageddon,” a darkly intense, vitriolically powerful and utterly engaging slice of Black Metal that makes you want to listen further, sound wise it epitomises EVERYTHING that I love about this particular vein of Black Metal.
“His Will Made Flesh” continues in that same intense and engaging manner but with a slightly more haunting stance despite the lo-fi approach and scathingly vitriolic vocal delivery, lyrically the content here and across the whole album is very defined and relevant and the hell-bent gallop continues with “Let Them Die”.
Taking a slightly different initial approach “No Longer Human” has a haunting intro with a brooding build then slams straight up several gears to full tilt pace but unlike its predecessors does ebb back giving a more organic variance of pace and “Blood of the Lamb” is heralded by a hellish vitriolic roar, after which the previously enjoyed intense onslaught continues once more and “Contamination of a Species” is an intense track once again but with a decidedly reflective quality to the repeat.
Then we get to “Plague, War, Death” where pace drops back a little and a slightly melodic undercurrent appears, adding variance and which balances nicely with the vitriolic vocals, driving drum work and coursing riffs, another track which stood out a little more for me, as did “Feeding His Hungering Flames” which also has that undulating, haunting, head nod inducing undercurrent of a melody, again slightly slower in pace.
Final offering, and longest track, the aptly named “Final Prayer” again has that dark melodic undercurrent balanced against an intense onslaught and the second half drop away allows you to briefly reflect on the track before building up with militaristic drum beats for one final attack on your senses.
“Let Them Die” was written and recorded during the spring of 2020, mixed by H.M. Corpse Foot in Atlantean Studios and mastered by Cripta. Cover art by Alphonse Edouard Enguérand Aufray de Roc’Bhian.
“Let Them Die” is available from https://harkfromthetomb.bandcamp.com as a pay what you want digital release, well worth getting a copy and will definitely be of interest to old school Black Metal fans.
Rating – 4.5 /5