I'll admit the first time I heard All Hyllest Til Satan I laughed pretty damn hard. The next few times I forcibly listened to Bloodsworn's long-awaited record, I felt like I was wasting my time. Fast forward a few weeks, and I feel quite the opposite. In fact, this release, although flawed, is still fairly listenable despite my predispositions to write a scathing review about how horrible I thought it was initially. Needless to say, Bloodsworn is a black metal which, according to legend, had All Hyllest Til Satan all tucked away and ready to go, but ten years flew by before these Norwegian champs got a chance to officially release it. However, it is finally here for better or worse.
Regardless of how one may or may not see Bloodsworn's performance, these gentlemen deserve a pat on the back for showing utter mastery of the 'brutal' black metal sound, which is, blastbeats, sharp tremolo riffs and nothing else. The guitar foundation, for one, is actually very well-crafted and diversified between prototypical black metal riffs, noteworthy grooves, fun thrash touches, and loads and loads of wonderful soloing with lots of headbanging and fun attached. The production - irony on the side, please - withholds the overall sound a bit, and without said aspect, my opinion would most likely change voluminously, because over-produced noisecore seizure is my f*cking nightmare, but this? No way! It is actually quite enjoyable. Essentially, Bloodsworn has the blast-laden game banked in and a stellar guitar attack which helps divert away from the sketchiness which would typically follow.
The rest of the album, meanwhile, becomes a complete disaster afterwards. Below such admirable guitar work resides a hidden demon which many have summoned beforehand and only few have survived its - a drum machine which sounds like a collection of beats from Mario Paint. Honestly, I can only assume Bloodsworn used a drum machine due to the constant feeling of hollowness ticking along. Needless to say, the snare and toms are sound so fake it hurts, while the ticking foot pedals are equally embarrassing. The icing on the cake, however, is the vocals and their overall. Faded and with no impact, throat noises are clearly the least important aspect of All Hyllest Til Satan.
After factoring in the mixture of all these characteristics, I just find the whole thing mildly bland. The riffs and solos are certainly enjoyable, but the constant ticking and abhorrent shouting does a devastating number on the albums quality. They say credit is given when credit is due, and in some ways, it most certainly is, yet this does not change the obvious conclusion woes plagued All Hyllest Til Satan in unforgivable fashions. However, this reviewer originally discarded Bloodsworn entirely after hearing this offering a few times, but giving it a second chance was indeed a fitting decision. I would assume most would find minimal to moderate contentment within All Hyllest Til Satan, and some may even find a diamond in the rough of this respectable, if flawed, effort.
All Hyllest Til Satan
Destruction in the Name of Satan
The Dawn of a New Millennium