Hoth – Astral Necromancy (Self)

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I am not a fan of many black metal bands. As a matter of fact that list contains just two bands, Evilheart from Mexico, and Hoth from Seattle, Washington. Hoth, in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, is a planet whose main feature is an icy wasteland. Cold and unforgiving…something the band is not. While they do blast the eardrums with a brutal assault there are also passages of ethereal beauty, creating a masterful blend of light and dark, beauty and ugliness, hope and despair. The way I determine whether I like an album is this: I hate it if I can’t even listen to it once all the way through. I like it if I listen to it three times but have no immediate interest in hearing it more. I love it if I listen to it six or more times and still want to crank it up again and again. Astral Necromancy falls into that last category. I lost track of how many times I’ve listened to these eleven tracks but I’m not done yet. Perhaps this is a sign that Seattle’s metal scene is about to rise into the limelight in much the same way the grunge scene blew up in the 1990s. We can certainly hope! Jim Dodge

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