Awaken the Black Flame


"Awaken The Black Flame" is the debut album from the German band, UNHALLOWED. The album […]
April 17, 2023
Unhallowed - Awaken the Black Flame album cover

"Awaken The Black Flame" is the debut album from the German band, UNHALLOWED. The album has been released on Folter Records. They play their brand of black metal, heavily inspired by the second wave of Scandinavian black metal. This album is proof that UNHALLOWED are good at what they do, just how good, we shall see. The album begins with the title track. The most interesting thing about this track and the rest of the album is the reverb on the vocals. This echo gives the vocals a welcome sense of presence. There is very little intro before they unleash a torrent of feral black metal. The bass guitar, if it is present, is completely inaudible. Black metal isn't known for having much bass, the distinct lack of bass guitar is reminiscent of METALLICA's "...And Justice For All."

The second track, "We Shall Reap," has a great hook. The lyrics are standard blasphemous black metal fare. The vocal performance is another highlight, especially the screamed stanzas with pauses in between. The build-up and payoff at the end is also a high point. "Toward The Abyss" follows, and begins with a powerful scream. The fast tremolo-picked notes sound great. Also, as if to prove that their bassist has a role, there is an isolated bass guitOther bass guitar lines follow, but they seem to be confined to this track. The penultimate track, "Child Of Wrath," is more of the same. There is a neat tremolo melody in the beginning. The rhythmic vocals on this track are some of the best sounding on the entire album. The lyrics about having come to wield the sword are compelling. There are two wailing lead guitar solos as well.

Overall, "Awaken The Black Flame" doesn't do anything that countless other black metal bands have done. The music is enjoyable but lacks anything to elevate it above the mainstream. The songwriting came off as bland, but still acceptable. The musicianship is competent and meets the demands of this style of music, but, ultimately, UNHALLOWED needs to do considerably more in the way of innovation to make their music memorable.

7 / 10









"Awaken the Black Flame" Track-listing:

1. Awaken the Black Flame
2. We Shall Reap
3. Toward the Abyss
4. Black-Winged Lord
5. Child of Wrath
6. The Firecrowned

Unhallowed Lineup:


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