The Curse Of Millhaven are a death metal band from Belgium. The band formed in 2012 when the remaining members of Fatal Recoil wanted to start a fresh new project. After releasing two tracks, which were used for promotion, the band headed to CCR studios to record their debut full length album ‘Vestibule Of Hell’. The album contains ten songs featuring different stories about the nine layers of hell, with the tenth track being instrumental.
Opening track ‘Humanity Exiled’ welcomes you to the first circle of Hell, Limbo. The song is amazing and a great start to the album. It tells the story of a person dreaming of Heaven but ending up in Hell. It’s dark and heavy, which is what you expect from death metal. I love the last line “Society thought they’d burn, truly we’re in a cruel form of Heaven”.
Next up is ‘Overcome By Lust’, which as the title states, is about the second circle, lust. The song starts straight in with the vocals by Jasper Lobelle. He uses a mixture of dark deep growls and high screams. It sounds awesome. There is a beautiful solo in this song. To end, the band repeat the first two lines and the chorus. I was expecting the whole first verse to be repeated but it works fine.
The third track is ‘Atrocious Conduct’, the circle of gluttony. The lyrics of this one are very dark, with lines like ‘Slaughtering goats didn’t provide 40 virgins but afterlife in wet dust’. The chorus is growled very deep and slow, making it sound sinister. There is a lot of fast drum work that sounds like double kicks from Bart Rambour.
Next is ‘Depression Through Value’ the fourth circle, greed. The track opens with the lines ‘Papé satan, papé satan aleppe’, which is the opening line of Canto VII of Dante Alighieri’s ‘Inferno’. The line is famous for the uncertainty of its meaning, although most people believe it to be some kind of demonic invocation to Satan. It’s a very strange line to use in a song, but The Curse Of Millhaven have pulled it off well, and it sets the song perfectly. This track is amazing. It’s full of thunderous guitar work from Jeroen Debruyne and Kurt Muylle. It’s a great track.
The fifth track is ‘City Of Dis’, the circle of wrath. This track is fast paced, and a bit shorter than expected, it also ends very suddenly. The lyrics are very satanic, although you kind of expect that when the songs are all about the circles of Hell. To me, this track could have been spread out a bit more, but it still makes for a great addition to the album.
Next up is ‘Downfall Of Inquisition’ the sixth circle, heresy. This track is the heaviest on the album, and my personal favourite. Everything about this song is epic. The drum line is full of energy and power. There is a very different guitar solo compared to the others. The song may be the heaviest on the album, but it slows down at the end, and fades out in an amazingly beautiful way.
Seventh track ‘Far Beyond Pain, Shedding Of Blood’, the circle of violence. This track is the shortest on the album, and the only one to feature an explicit lyric. I really like this track. The lyrics are heavy, and so is the song. It’s all about violence against yourself, God and others. The song is a bit discriminative, but again if you listen to death metal it is something you expect.
Track eight is ‘Simony’, the circle of fraud. The song starts straight in with the chorus. There is a short guitar solo early on then another one near the end. The riff is hard hitting and makes for great head-banging music.
Track nine ‘Frames Of Deceit’ the last circle, the circle of treachery. This track is the last one with vocals, and Jasper really gives it his all. The lyrics are about meeting Satan, and the coldness of the circle. Although most people tend to think of Hell as a warm place, in Dantes ‘Inferno’, it actually gets colder the further down you go. The Curse Of Millhaven have really done their research for this album, and have got it all right. I hope anybody that listens to this album enjoys traveling through the circles of Hell with this great band as much as I did.
To round off an epic album, the final track is the beautifully crafted instrumental ‘Reditus’. Four minutes of pure genius. The band slows it down for the start and then gets heavier towards the middle, before slowing down again then gently fading to end. An amazing way to end the album.
Review: Rebecca Livingstone