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HellLight : …And Then, The Light of Consciousness Became Hell…

HellLight fall on the generic side of the Doom spectrum...

Brazilian Funeral Doom bands tend to suffer from the same flaw as their Ukrainian and Russian counterparts: they fall on the generic side of the border. Listening to an average-sounding band while reading a good book can be a pleasant experience, but it's not the same thing when you have to review it and decide upon the pros and cons of the record.

HellLight come from the same city as Sepultura, and this year celebrate more than a decade of existence. In case you're deaf enough to not recognize what they're playing upon the first spin of the CD, they also have released an album called 'Funeral Doom'. Their concept seems a bit weird to me (a mixed bag celebrating paganism, satanism, reason and science over religion... go figure how the first two points can go along with the third one), but not the weirdest I've seen in Doom-related music (after all, we have Aarni). The music is classic Funeral Doom the way the Brazilian bands seem to like it: with symphonic keyboards in full force (right now, I can only think of Through The Valley as the sole band from Brazil that would dwell in the rawest side of Funeral Doom, most of the other ones prefering to rely strongly on keyboards). Something that goes along the same path as Tyranny, Rememberance, Pantheist or Until Death Overtakes Me, albeit clearly with more style than substance. The guys in HellLight are all really good musicians, that you can't deny. Everything is well done, from the alternance of great epic vocals and abyssal grunts, to the great progressive guitar solos that reminds me of Monolithe. And alas, when Monolithe managed to vary rhythms and melodies over the course of their hour long tracks, HellLight just keep re-using the same basic formula from song to song.

This is where the boring-o-meter goes higher. For the record is long, way too long: 80 minutes long for only 6 songs, to be more precise. And all the songs follow strictly the same formula and, worse, the same melodies. This goes as far as being only able to distinguish one song from another by some small detail ('oh, he sings only in clean vocals on this one, haven't paid any attention before') and only if you've not fallen asleep by then. To makes things even more generic, some songs even sound like the same song played back to back twice: for example, just when the middle of the opener 'The Light That Brought Darkness' is passed, the structure comes immediately back to the beginning and the band goes on playing it anew right from the start... in a song that is 12 minutes long, why not just cut it to 6 minutes? And some songs are even longer than this one...

'...And Then, The Light Of Consciousness Became Hell...' could have been a good record if at least 2 or 3 songs had been left out. Or if the songs had been shortened and given more attention to their structure. Here, it is hard sometimes to stay focused on the music beyond half-track. I do think that the members genuinely believe in their concept, and I won't blame them for that (to each his own, I say): it's just that, when you hear the result, you don't hear someone putting his heart and soul into his beliefs, you just hear someone playing music like he hadn’t found anything better to do that day. Too bad, because considering the experience of the musicians and how well they play their instruments, they could easily deliver something really awesome. They should work harder crafting their own sound, and not base everything around their concept. HellLight clearly have the potential to do better than this and to create something more than ultra-generic Funeral Doom. I truly hope they’ll break the generic mold next time.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Light That Brought Darkness
2. Downfall Of The Rain
3. Soaring Higher
4. Children Of Doom
5. The Secrecy
6. Beneath The Light Of The Moon

Duration : Approx. 79 minutes

Visit the HellLight bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-09 by Laurent Lignon
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