The 1993 demo “Black Seared Heart” is a good black-death metal work, harsh and with a decent, fair mood. In ’95 the mini-cd “First Spell” (Vote 8.5) was released and immediately the great potential of that band became clear. The Gehenna’s music was mostly directed to capture the atmosphere of the dark esoteric and magical aspect of the sombre forces, with an ancient, medieval and melancholic mood inside. Dimmu Borgir and Emperor showed the way but Gehenna’s music have a mysterious atmosphere, an occult side, that always the early Emperor were able to recreate with a superior skill.
the next year Gehenna released “Seen Through the Veil of Darkness” (Vote
9), truly something special for my ears, another example of excellent
symphonic black metal with a small heavy influence and an esoteric, dark and
occult musical background. The subtitle “Second Spell” is a perfect
description of what Gehenna’s music is, pure ancient magic of a forlorn age
of knowledge, a witchcraft of the grim forces. The sad melancholic
mood of the “First Spell” wasn’t gone, the epic aspect of some other
black metal bands wasn’t the main factor, in fact it was really moderate.
The keyboards work is extraordinary, made with skill, right timing and magic,
every song have its strong elements, important ideas, in a really inspired
The ’96 “Malice” (Vote 8.5) is another brick to the glorious history of that band, but the heavy and melodic elements were conquering too much field in the musical spectrum of the band.
The Sarcana keyboards were much more present, but the overall feeling of the Gehenna’s music was untouched, the mystic, magical, occult essence, the trademark of the band, was still the winning force of the new opus. A morbid mood was emerging but in a right context, without losing the supernatural spirit.
Some important line-up changes, the drummer, bass and keyboards player departure, came before the new album “Adimiron Black” (’98 Vote 9), that has been an essential turn for the Gehenna’s carrier. The music becomes harsh and brutal as never before, the sound sharper then in all the other past albums. The heavy and melodic riffs went away for a death comeback and some moderate black metal influences. The opener is able to destroy every normal feeling from me, usually I go totally mad listening to it. The Sanrabb’s voice is the best performance that I’ve ever heard, totally cruel, evil, angry, absolutely incredible!, the drumming is extreme and various, the keyboards are used with thrift, with great attention on the right moments, and they create and horror-like mood totally morbid and dark. The occult and magical background is gone but the new apocalyptic, grim and devilish is superb.
The bitter has to come, and it was “Murder” (Vote 7), the 2000 Gehenna’s album, here the Norwegian band totally lose his roots and almost every aspect of their obscure music, becoming a conventional and normal death metal band, only in two or at last three song it’s audible the Gehenna’s personality. The album isn’t a disaster but looking back to the glorious past it’s a big failure for the Sanrabb’s project, for another time he have changed the line-up, but this time the result is a disappoint for me.