Band: Holocausto em Chamas
Album: לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ
Label: Harvest of Death
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: October 5th, 2018
I remember as a ten-year-old when I was told that here on out, I would be washing, drying, and folding my own cloths. I couldn’t fathom why I was assigned something so time consuming. From this point on I learned that when it comes time to finish a chore, it’s most easily done when you isolate yourself from the feelings of detest that comes with the chore, and you look forward to getting the chore done so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. The same thing could be said for this review on לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ by Holocausto Em Chamas: it was a chore, and I’m glad that I don’t ever have to listen to it again.
Imagine if you were a coroner analyzing a fresh corpse. The lead detective wants to know what that person ate before he died. So you dissect the corpse and conduct an analysis on the excrement. However, you soon realize that none of your analytical technology is available for use since it all broke a couple of hours earlier. Your only option is to look, smell, taste, listen to, and feel the excrement to form a conjecture on what the corpse had for dinner before its death.
That is what reviewing לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ was like for me. If I had the technology to customize the production of this album so it could be listenable, then I would, but unfortunately that was not the case. The quality of production on this album is so bad, it’s as if Holocausto took inspiration from black metal bands who recorded in a concrete basement with a budget of ten dollars, and this flaw is most obvious when listening to the drums and the vocals.
The cymbals ring like an annoying mosquito midst a long hike, the bass drum is practically non-existent, and the snare drum is dry as mummy wraps caked on a two-thousand-year-old skeleton. I’m not even sure if the drummer hits any toms in לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ, but if so they are inaudible. The snare and bass drum are drowned out by the cymbal when the drummer engages in blast beats. Stacked on top of the horrendous sound of the drums are the awful vocals. It’s obvious that in metal it’s not necessary for the lyrics to be understandable, but incomprehensible vocals can be applied in a brilliant manner. Take Ulcerate’s Shrines of Paralysis for example; it’s very hard to pick out what the vocalist is singing, yet the production makes his growls an integral part of the atmosphere within the album. The vocals on לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ are incomprehensible and hardly contribute to the atmosphere Holocausto strives to establish, since there is no atmosphere to even begin with, rendering the vocals baseless. In short, this album has some of the worst mixing and production standards I have ever encountered in my long career of listening to metal. I’m left flabbergasted that I had the patience to review this album, but there are upsides to לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ which I think Holocausto could capitalize on.
Production aside, what is listenable is good and shows potential growth for Holocausto. לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ has thematic elements of the ritual summoning of Satan, the damnation of our lord and savior, and the coming apocalypse where the undead shall rise. The guitar chugs are menacing and original, painting a barren sonic landscape of despair and suffering. When audible, the bassist plays its role excellently; providing a foundation for the music while keeping pace with the fast chugs and tremolos sprinkled throughout the album. The vocalist does a good job making his voice ugly and raw, which would contribute to the album immensely if the mixing wasn’t so bad. The drummer appropriately alternates his playing style depending on the guitar riffs and vocal sections. It’s clear to me that the musicianship required to make enjoyable metal music is present, as the necessary skill requirement can be heard at times. But this album’s production and mixing is horrendous enough where it completely overshadows any optimism I have for Holocausto.
UPDATE: After asking many friends, I found out that the album title is Hebrew for “Holy Tongue”
1. Coroado em Espinhos
3. Death Messiah
4. Via Crucis
5. Sermões da Montanha
6. After the Cricifixion
7. Narcotic Invocation of the Tormentor
8. Agonizing Aura
9. From the Catacombs
10. Claustro dos Mortos
11. The Somber Disciple
Total Playing Time: 40:41
Shankar is a college student majoring in philosophy. He occupies his free time with reading, rugby, schoolwork, and death metal.