And Hell Followed With – Domain

 

Band: And Hell Followed With
Album: Domain
Genre: Metal
Label: Statik Factory

Tracks:
1. The End of Prosperity
2. A Throne Enshrouded
3. Serpents Beneath Their Hoods
4. Give Breath To Her Memory
5. An Infestation
6. The Pious, Now Corrupt
7. A Whisper From Sorrow
8. Legendary
9. Consumed By Silence [Part 1]
10. Ancestral Deceit [Part 2]

I know the modern “metal” scene is getting more and more flooded with bands that seem like copycats of other horrible acts, but I think a light may be at the end of the tunnel. What is that light? It’s simple – And Hell Followed With. The band, whose name comes from the book of Revelations, recently signed to Statik Factory Records and their crushing debut, Domain, will hit stores before the year is out. The disc itself is nothing more or less than 10 of the heaviest, most guttural songs I’ve heard all year and is the kind of record people look back on and say, “wow, that really took metal to a new level.”

The album opens with the slightly unnecessary, “The End of Prosperity,” which does a decent job of setting the tone in terms of chugging and vocals. Everything is deep and the layers are thick, but you know it hits like a shot to the back of the head for any fan of the genre. My only problem is that it reminds me of so many other heavy releases by starting out with a chug fest that I think it turns away from the band’s actual talent which is never the way you want to kick things off it. It does, however, flow flawlessly into, “A Throne Enshrouded,” which brings the technicality like a full force storm. The guitars rage like pent up beasts and the vocals dig into your very spirit and tells it to pay attention to what your hearing. This isn’t typical throwdown metal, but the kind you just take in and try to keep your jaw from hitting the floor. What follows this track is what we at UTG refer to as a “gem.” “Serpents Beneath Their Hoods,” to me, is AHFW at their best. Everything simply pulsates and pounds at you until your out of breath, begging for mercy, and for an encore. The closing chant of, “my lies shall rot with me/for I’m an honest man,” is sure to be scrawled all over Myspace and the guitar work is something to admire. Just try to match the opening growl here, it’s incredible.

The only problem with gem tracks though, is that whatever follows have to keep up the snuff so to say. “Give Breath To her Memory,” has heavy vocal layers and impressive drum work, but it just feels very run of the mill given the tracks we’ve already heard. I’m not going to lie, I was quite worried that I’d already found the best AHFW had to offer and there was still 6 tracks to go before the record ended. However, I had high hopes for these Michigan boys and so I continued on.

Luckily, “An Infestation,” swoops in and saves the record from becoming another fleeting work of old metal cliches. The vocals, though done all by one person, seem to duel and the lack of layering here makes it all sound so much better than when the production gets intense. “The Pious, Now Corrupt,” comes in with more of an atmospheric sound than most of what we’ve heard. Instead of jumping right to the chug we are given a slow building piece of guitar work and drumming that just feels epic and enthralling. There are no vocals, nor is there a need for them. However, if you must get the screams, “A Whisper From Sorrow,” brings you what you’re looking for. Picture the epic feel of the last track mixed with vocals and a bit more chugging and that’s what you have here. Though, I won’t lie, the epic feel does wain a bit at about the halfway mark, the song does come across pretty alright.

For the last chunk of this piece of metal goodness, we have a two part tale and the, well, legend worthy, “Legendary.” This is the epic sound the past few tracks had been going for pulled off in a style that doesn’t start to slack halfway through Which is saying something in itself considering the song lingers near 7 minutes in length. The drums really come across here in pure precision and the guitar licks are the type that make you twirl your fingers in the air even in an empty room. If it’s skill you want, this is your one stop shop. As for the two part closer, “Consumed By Silence,” and, “Ancestral Deceit,” I can’t say I was 100% blown away, but rather left pondering the need for it all. Some of the technical work here is stunning, but as a whole it just underwhelmed as a closer. In fact, I think, “Legendary,” would have been a much more fitting end as it seta the bar much to high for this flawed closing numbers.

As a whole, And Hell Followed With are onto something big. The metal scene is running rampant with flash in the pan bands that are barely known outside of their hometowns even if on a label, but AHFW seem to have the drive to take the masses. It’s been too long sine we had a small town hero in the scene and this is that band 10x over. Domain is a dirty and epic piece of young metal genius in the early stages of evolution. The ideas here, though not always carried out as well as you’d hope, could change the scene itself and if that doesn’t deserve your time, I don’t know what does.

 

 
*Written By: James Shotwell*
Grade: 8/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • DeAnna

    I LOVE AHFW. I saw them about six months ago at my boyfriend’s friend Jared’s house and was amazed:]