Brazilian black metal warriors Power From Hell, once again confirm with their new album that even such an orthodox and die-hard direction as South American black metal is able to develop. On their debut album ‘The True Metal’ they offered dirty Raw Black/Thrash/Speed metal and their latest work ‘Shadows Devouring Light’ differs in a striking way from that opus. Some of the riffs are reminiscent of the band’s Thrash Metal past, this is most noticeable in the short use of palm muting in the transitions between song sections; tremolo picking still plays a major role in the texture of the songs; but the frequent use of dissonant riffs makes their atmosphere more modern.
Add here a ragged structure and unusual insertions, also the appearance of melodies in riffs where you don’t expect them at all (although a trick with an unexpected tremolo picked melody at the end of the riff is their signature schtick). Taking into account the uncompromising tremolo picking chaos, ‘Shadows Devouring Light’ may seem like a chaotic work for the listener who is accustomed to harmonic order, but in fact the material is built on regularities; logic, albeit weird, is used here.
Well, they have not renounced the raw production at all, the guitars are submerged, so even in the high-speed sections the drums and especially the vocals are louder, but take the most atmospheric song, ‘Primordial Impurity’: it is most indicative of how fairly standard riffs (in the vein of ‘Freezing Moon’ and other early Mayhem songs) can be packaged in an unusual modern attitude. It’s like trying to make Post-Black Metal out of classic Brazilian Black/Thrash Metal, but getting stuck halfway through.
All this is vicious, interesting and, most importantly, unusual. The band had its own unique charm even on debut, and it’s recognizable here as well, so old fans shouldn’t be disappointed.