SKILLET w/, Red Gazelle & RedHook Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney Thursday 15th November, 2018 …
From the darker reaches of Lee Hartney’s creative vault, emerges his blackened solo project Ghoatte Hordour.
Just beneath the surface of Hartney’s work in The Smith Street Band lies the persistent menacing undercurrent of Ghoatte Hordour’s symphonic black metal. At last, Hartney has unleashed the darkness in Ghoatte Hordour’s debut EP Blackened Blood Of The Suthourn Altar.
Blackened Blood Of The Suthourn Altar is a tight five track EP that seeps with grim undertones and haunting melodic strains. The opening track Fire In The Eyes Of Shackles is mainly a desolate cinematic instrumental score but for some eerily panned spoken word with monastic bells, but sets the atmosphere, as the most orchestrated track on the album.
Hartney has brought in just the right amount of melodic and symphonic elements to create an intriguingly dark, captivating project.
The midsection of the EP showcases three majestistically grim mid-pace tracks. The Harbinger’s Passage is a stately track that is sombre yet tough. By far the most natural mixture of classic black metal with symphonic orchestration lies within the militantly austere track Churchburner: The Destroyer’s Ascension. Beneath Hartney’s savage vocals, the symphonic elements are used to thicken out the forbiddingly dissonant guitars to create an air of edgy, swelling anticipation. This is a prime example of how symphonic additions can be used in black metal without compromising the tangible emotion created by the vocals and guitars. Summon The Frohzun closes Blackened Blood Of The Suthourn Altar in dark anthemic style, introducing some refreshingly quirky, inventive twists in the second half of the track, which leaves one curious as to the future directions for Ghoatte Hordour.
As a solo black metal project, Ghoatte Hordour does reflect Hartney’s expression of internal rage at the decomposing world, without pretentiousness. For an EP allegedly recorded on an 8-track in Hartney’s room, the sound quality is remarkably good, without too much division between the symphonic overlays and the instrumentation. Through consistent commitment to the blackened sound throughout the EP Hartney has brought in just the right amount of melodic and symphonic elements to create an intriguingly dark, captivating project.
STANDOUT TRACKS: The Harbinger’s Passage, Churchburner: The Destroyer’s Ascension, Summon The Frohzun.
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, (recent) Satyricon