Year of release: 2016
Released by: Thou Shalt Kill! Records
Rating: 8 / 10
The new album of ДО СКОНУ, which is about to be presented at a concert in band's native Ukraine, is already made, but I’ll tell you about the previous one. "Ад" ("Hell"), released in 2016, caused some excitement among a narrow circle of limited people, that is, us reading this text. The album followed a strong split with NIEZGAL, and release photos from TSK! demonstrated something gorgeous in terms of design. Finally, the very name of the album is simple and killer at the same time. You don't call some dummy shit "Hell".
In my opinion, “Hell” still did not become a bomb, but it moved ДО СКОНУ a bit forward. Compared to “The Great Awakening ...”, there is a bit more neat sound and no changes in the atmosphere and style (you want to know more - re-read the review of the previous album, I'm too lazy to repeat) ...but the music and lyrics are better. Both were good before, but now everything is excellent. Each song contains a whole clip of tenacious riffs and melodies; no more filler pieces - they were ruthlessly removed. Only the best material! Going to this level, when you no longer need to dilute the cool pieces with nonsense, you can move even higher. Varagian remains only to improve his skills as a composer, and we will definitely hear an unconditional masterpiece from him.
As for the lyrics, there is almost nothing to improve here. Dark poetry of ДО СКОНУ was always beautiful. It's just great on this album. Dark rituals for the glory of ruthless nature, total death and destruction, boundless cosmic Darkness - this is genuine Black Metal. But I did not understand what caused the choice of the name of the album. How to put it more correctly ... I did not see Hell here. That is, the things there are described quite hellish, but no more than on other albums.
The album was released in a hardback CD format with an impressive poster booklet inserted into the pocket. On one side of the booklet are texts, on the other - the full version of the cover picture. It all looks a little less delightful than in the above-mentioned photographs, but powerful. In addition, “Hell” favorably differs from the already familiar digibook and digipack formats. See more details in this video.
It remains to add that Varagian recently uploaded an alternative mix of the album to his Bandcamp. The fans of the modern Ukrainian scene will surely like it because of its power, heaviness and clarity. I must say that in some moments this mix is really better than the original, but it loses the poisonous atmosphere of ДО СКОНУ, and this is absolutely unacceptable. Compare: