Solidarity, Pagan Hellfire’s fourth full-length album, provides authentic, raw, noble yet at times melancholic black metal, with perhaps a folkish touch (the main riff of ”The Hours Before Dawn” being an example). While this is so often used scheme in black metal I can’t refuse the fact that Pagan Hellfire sounds absolutely fabulous in what its doing. It sounds honest and doesn’t try to be compromising. Every instrument is executed well and the earthly, dry production is golden to my ears.
The compositions are quite riff-based, and that indeed is the keyword to Solidarity: the guitars. There is an almost constant interplay going on between two guitars, the other playing lead(ish) melodies and the other more rhythmic patterns. The drumming is pretty simple and accurate and the beats vary from common blast beats to various mid-tempo beats that have slightly technical elements in them, never sounding pretentious, though. Solidarity flows nicely, thanks to the breathing instrumentation and production. The vocals are raspy screams in the usual way and if there’s nothing wrong with it there’s no need to change it.
Solidarity is full of climatic moments. A good example would be the utterly epic title track that mostly focuses on the primal raw energy but later, almost suddenly, expands to such sweet landscapes created by lead guitar melodies. ”The Soils of Eternity” is another track that fits to the description above and, well, every other track too, more or less. Pagan Hellfire was one of the best findings I’ve done lately and that is actually thanks to Metal Music Archives. I’m rather new to this album still so I’m afraid of giving more than 4 stars for now. I wouldn’t surprise if it gets more later.