Band: HOTH
Country: USA
Title: Astral Necromancy
Label: Epicurus Records
Year: 2018
Style: Melodic Black Metal

Not to be mistaken with the Portuguese one man band with the same name, Seattle based Hoth is a duo founded in 2011, and what I have here is their third full-length, an 11 tracks effort recorded and produced by the band between 2015 and 2018, followup to their 2014 album, Oathbreaker. So one can tell these guys are not rushing things at all, and the compositions on this album are the proof of that. At first the quality of the digipak, the artwork and the methodical cleanliness of the booklet contents are quite impressive, at least for me, it gives me the impression of a well-calculated, serious, professional band. Unfortunately as soon as the CD starts I'm blown away by the synthetic sound of the drums and the somehow thin sound, crystal clear indeed, but thin and not powerful at all, so this is a major minus to start with, at leats in my books; the drums sound is terribly annoying at times, absolutely no trace of human touch in it. Anyway, passing over that I discover a fantastic band, the compositions presented on this album are all impressive, they all have at least a hook to remember them by, which is fantastic; we're dealing with an accessible type of Black Metal highlighted by melodic guitar harmonies, excellent solos and leads that express the players' open-minded influences, and basically everything is composed with plenty of good taste and of course good technical skills display. If one can pass over the synthetic sounding drums this will make a damn fine audition, just imagine a mix of Cradle of Filth, Immortal, Finnish Melodic Black Metal and American Melodic Power Metal, with a thin rain of Folk Metal over it here and there, an excellent combination that I recommend you test at least once.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10