Our relatively newly acquired American friends in Helleborus, whom we became familiar with in connection with the debut The Carnal Sabbath a year ago, are back. This time on a short visit of just 7.5 minutes in the form of a single to forge while the name is still hot.
My biggest appeal on the previous occasion was cramped compression of DR3 on average. We'll get back to how this aspect is doing this time.
Prayer of The Undying is a single song clocking in at 7:26, and it may actually be the band's best song to date! Not that I've heard through entire Prayer of The Undying recently, though. Just to mention it, the three singles the duo released in 2015 were all later represented on the album.
One thing is that the sound is better. The single, with its DR5, is not generous with sonic dynamics, but it's not as compressed, the clipping is far from as evident, and the basic production sounds more glowingly infernal here. The music itself was more spacious and genre-wise unconventional, idiosyncratic and boundless on the album. Highly respectable indeed, but personally, I'm nevertheless weak for tight hell-fire.
Prayer of The Undying has got tighter musical reins, but the song has enough diversity in all its flaming splendour. In addition, the coherent whole is flanked by good but moderate melodic choices, and crowned by a rather melancholic, but also diabolically devil-may-care form of atmosphere. The vocal was quite damaged by clipping on the previous occasion, but this time the words shines of Lucifer's wrath along with nifty guitar works. The drums are also varied, but the amount of blasting at least appeal abundantly to yours truly.
Such short releases are rarely or never directly obligatory, but Helleborus impresses with a rather long and killer song. Thus I reward it with horns up.