A lot of people, myself included, feel like we’ve been through hell the past few years with everything we’ve had to withstand. And it’s been a lot, and it’s been painful, and some of us lost a lot. But there are people who have been suffering far longer and have endured punishment and devastation we only can imagine. Those people don’t have that luxury; their hell is real.
Indonesian black metal force Pure Wrath, the brainchild of Januaryo Hardy (he handles vocals, guitars, bass, synth, songwriting, and lyrics) delivers something more harrowing and heartbreaking on their excellent third record “Hymn to the Woeful Hearts.” On this album, Hardy writes in dedication to a mother and survivor of the 1965 Indonesian genocide whose son was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded. It’s a tragedy that haunted all of her days, spending five decades trying to live as if nothing has happened when inside, she was undone by grief. It adds a much heavier pall to this record that sounds vibrant and melodic but is awash in a story that would cripple most people. On the record, Hardy is joined by guest musicians Yurii Kononov (drums, and also of White Ward), Dice Midyanti (piano, cello, additional elements) and Nick Kushnir (additional guitars) to add more spirit and texture to these six tracks that easily can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
“The Cloak of Disquiet” opens with acoustics and fires crackling before a melodic rage explodes, stunning and crushing emotions. The leads glimmer, and a brief cold spell designed to relieve the pressure paves the way for another gust, even with some clean calls rushing behind. Drums crash as the playing flows, bringing everything to an arresting end. “Years of Silence” brings guitars gashing as raw wails hammer, and keys drip in to add a new eloquent element. A moody pace begins its stretch, and then things get electrified all over again, keys melt into the earth, and things end in elegant bloodshed. “Presages From a Restless Soul” rips open and blisters right away, flooding the senses and wrenching your mind. The tempo continues to steamroll as the shrieks devastate, and cleaner calls send cool waves to soothe you. The guitars gust again as the vocals smother, and all the elements melt in glorious haze.
“Footprints of the Lost Child” pummels with a frenetic pace as the melodies hit their breaking point. The synth gives some regality as the playing cascades dramatically, letting your blood surge. A dip into acoustics and foggy synth goes into rippling power, speedy and heartfelt energy, and a finish that robs you of breath. “Those Who Stand Still” quakes as it starts, crushing with great riffs and hypnotic playing that makes your heads spin. Things gets numbing as the pace halts, noise drizzles, and then a fresh explosion acts as a tidal wave, leaving everything washed away. The title track closes the album with clean trickling and synth rising with the atmosphere acting like a calming force. Strings glaze as warm, gentle waters flow, mixing into a cosmic void that bring this instrumental cut to an end.
“Hymn to the Woeful Hearts” is the finest work of Pure Wrath’s run, an album that establishes a major chunk of the melodic black metal world to them, which they richly deserve. Every part of this record is jammed with genuine emotion and unmistakable power, truly paying homage to the mother whose experiences are at the center of this record. This is a rush of an album musically, something exciting and utterly electric, but at its core, it’s a human story about someone who would not give in even in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/purewrath
To buy the album (North America), go here: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/
Or here (Europe): https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/12-eshop
For more on the label, go here: https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/