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Hollenthon - Opus Magnum

Hollenthon’s origins date back to 1994 when it was started as a project next to Schirenc’s main band Pungent Stench. Now that this band is no more, vocalist and guitarist Martin Schirenc can concentrate fully on Hollenthon. It has been seven years since With Vilest of Worms to Dwell, their second album. A significant difference with the Stench dudes is the production being a lot better and less smelly.

The accompanying biography speaks of a soundtrack-like production of Opus Magnum. I wouldn’t go that far, the classical parts do have ebullient melodies, but I wouldn’t call George Lucas just yet. A quite wicked atmosphere is present on the album, I agree. It is a good combination of heavy guitars, choirs and symphonic interludes. A fast Samael is the first thing that crossed my mind when ‘On the Wings of a Dove’. ‘Son of Perdition’ however reminds me a lot of Pungent Stench, including it's palpable vibe. Just the drums don’t sound like they are pounding on a trashcan.
This line-up consists also of former Pungent Stench bassplayer Gregor Marboe, so I do wonder why the trio split up. Why wouldn't Schirenc find another drummer and continue? Ok, Hollenthon clearly has more potential, but what I can’t seem to find on this album are real highlights. It is like their main focus was on delivering a good sounding product which they surely did achieve. I can think of ‘Once We Were Kings’. I’ll have to wait until I see Hollenthon playing on the numerous festivals this year to find out which tracks work best. I have listened to it a number of times, but it is one of those rare occasions where I can’t seem to make up my mind about this record. This is really a case of judge it yourself.
Hollenthon - Opus Magnum
70/1001Details Napalm Records
Released on Friday May 30th, 2008
Epic Dark Metal

Writer @Angel on Wednesday May 21st, 2008

Tags: #Hollenthon
Tracklisting 1. On The Wings Of A Dove
2. To Fabled Lands
3. Son Of Perdition
4. Ars Moriendi
5. Once We Were Kings
6. Of Splendid Worlds
7. Dying Embers
8. Misterium Babel
Line up Martin Schirenc - vocals, guitars
Martin Arzberger - Guitars
Gregor Marboe - Bass
Mike Gröger - Drums