Album Title: 
Storm Is Coming
Release Date: 
Friday, September 5, 2014
Review Type: 

Onheil are a Dutch formation that was formed at the end of last century. The demo-CDs Sterf (‘die’) (2000) and We Hebben De Hel Gezien (‘we’ve seen Hell’) (2002), as well as their first official release, the 2003-MCD The Threat (War Cry Productions), were received very positively in especially Belgium and The Netherlands. Besides, the band was able to perform with bands like Belphegor, Vader, The Monolith Deathcult, Mayhem, Entombed and Hail Of Bullets, to name but a few. After a break (read: re-orientation), some former members (Terger and Sadist) started co-operating with members of Dutch band Martyr (Amok, Haat and Nomiis), and Onheil were reborn. A new promo-CD drew attention of a few interesting labels, and in 2008 Onheil signed to Cyclone Empire (Germany) for the release of the first ‘official’ full length. That album, Razor, was a fabulous come-back, and one of my favorite albums from 2009. More great festivals and stage-sharing (with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Asphyx, Watain, Rotting Christ etc.) followed.

It was a torture, however, that nothing seemed to happen in the studio anymore. But now it turns out to be the end of that challenge. Finally, after almost five and a half years, Onheil strike back with Storm Is Coming, a ten-tracker released once again via Cyclone Empire. The album was produced and mixed by Bart Hennephof (Textures) and Yuri van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence, The New Dominion), and mastered at Necromorbus with Tore Stjerna (think: Zombiefication, Merrimack, Tortorum, Desultory, Inferno, a. o.). The nice artwork is done, by the way, by GrimTwins Art Studio, who also did something for Deicide, and the total running time totals forty four minutes.

Storm Is Coming once again brings rather tradition-inspired Black Metal with catching melodies, an energetic speed, and clean, decent song writing. There’s quite an amount of Thrash-edged aggression, which isn’t that uncommon for a band from the Lowlands, of course, with inclusion of some structures à la the traditional and melodic Heavy Metal-scene. There is quite some variation in speed, melody and approach, with addition of tremolo twin leads (once again they might remind the listener to Iron Maiden indeed, which was not that much the case with the former full length, by the way), pushing and poly-rhythmic structures, and some vocal experimentation.

More than before, however, the whole sounds polished-up too intensively (which wasn’t the case yet with the 2009-album Razor). It’s not the catchiness of the performance only that makes the listening experience easier; also the massive though little too clinically finalized production and faultless, smooth mix that are the opposite of abrasive, un-thorny raw-edged elegance.