The Desolate One


The unholy matrimony between Italian and Norwegian black metal aficionados, HAMMERFILOSOFI formed during the disparate, […]
September 2, 2023
Hammerfilosofi - The Desolate One album cover

The unholy matrimony between Italian and Norwegian black metal aficionados, HAMMERFILOSOFI formed during the disparate, alien times of COVID. The goal of the band, according to member Fuoco Cammina Con Me " was quite simple... it is an instrument to initiate a violent cathartic inner journey - and a celebration of strength and vigor, of terror and strife, and of glorious death." It's a noisy paean to the greats of black metal past, mixing the raw brutality and nihilistic energy of late '80s pioneers and the more darkened noise of more industrial and bowel-moving experimental bands of later years. Their debut album "The Desolate One" tries to turn the blackened world of metal on it's horned head, and let all of us question the inevitable direction mankind is marching towards.

"The Sickle" is a slowed down death march, Satan himself wielding his scythe of eternal doom.  The song drips with the metaphorical blood of history, dissonant chords sweeping over a plodding, repetitive drumbeat, while the lyrics are growled in abject desperation.  There are echoes of DARKTHRONE and MAYHEM: the composition is classic in its arrangement, simple and concise, and blackened to its core. At eight minutes, it takes its time to paint this picture of a satanic demigod plodding through the rotten soil of an eternity's worth of bodies.  Like most great black metal, there are moments of ambient retrospection, clean vocals rising up from the wash of overdriven guitars.  "Abyssal Season" starts off with a chamber-like arrangement of strings and horns over some unintelligible spoken word. At about a minute and a half a bell rings, and an impossibly putrid blackened riff propels the song forward into absolute misery and chaos. It's the most dissonant, nastiest song on the album, almost industrial in its abrasiveness and lack of melody, and this is meant as the highest compliment. There are times, however, in the eight-plus minutes of the composition, that the vocals seem to overwhelm the musical performance.  Instrumentally, the song is powerful enough to elicit the feelings of doom and despair intrinsically buried in its sonic destruction; the vocals, unfortunately, detract from this power.

"The Skull" is an epic closer that brings the journey to an end. According to the band's press release, the band "is the cleansing fire that aims to eradicate every trace of the civilized, the harmless, and the mediocre." "The Skull" attempts to do this in a destructive ten minute quagmire of  wretchedness. Doom-inspired, the song plods along over tremolo-picked guitars and arpeggiated chords, while the vocals are shouted and spat over the dissonant progressions. The last three minutes are the sounds of bodies being dragged through the metallic remains of civilization, HAMMERFILOSOFI finally achieving their nihilistic goal of total global destruction.

"The Desolate One" is certainly an audacious, confident debut album and will garner its share of fans. There are moments of real creative excitement on the record, but without any real focus on the ambience throughout, it's a rocky, blood-stained road to be traveled. The record would benefit from a more conservative use of vocals, and a more confident approach to world-building through the sonic explorations they excel at.  It is truly a desolate, miserable piece of black metal that leaves you wanting to take a thirty-minute shower afterwards, and that's probably the best compliment any blackened group of human beings from Norway and Italy could ever hope for!

6 / 10

Had Potential








When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"The Desolate One" Track-listing:

1. The Torch
2. The Crossed Bones
3. Odi Profanum Vulgus et Arceo
4. The Sickle
5. Abyssal Season
6. The Skull

Hammerfilosofi Lineup:

Noktifer- All instruments
Fuoco Cammina Con Me- All instruments

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram