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Album Review

Let's compare Hellfire, 1349's third full-length album, to a professional dominatrix or a horror movie. Just as there are different approaches in metal, there are different approaches in S&M and horror. There is the dominatrix who favors nuance and offers some hugs and caresses along with her whips, chains, and riding crops; there is, on the other hand, the domme who goes right for the cat-o-nine-tails and immediately inflicts as much pain as possible. There are nuanced vampire movies of the '30s and '40s that leave much to the imagination; there are the Jason and Chuckie bloodfests that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. And when it comes to death metal/black metal (more black metal than death metal on Hellfire), 1349 is clearly the headbanger equivalent of Chuckie rather than Barnabus Collins (the nuanced vampire on Dark Shadows) and the cruel, consistently harsh dominatrix rather than the kinder, gentler dominatrix. Oh, the kinder, gentler dominatrix still knows how to crack her whips when she feels it's appropriate — and the Scandinavian bands that are considered symphonic black metal or melodic death metal will never be mistaken for Enya. But they value nuance and melody as well as forcefulness. You won't find nuance on Hellfire, however; like 1349's second album, Beyond the Apocalypse, this 52-minute disc is a long way from the more intricate death metal/black metal and goes right for the jugular. No ifs, ands, or buts — Hellfire is the sort of extreme metal that leaves nothing but bloody destruction in its path and absolutely delights in doing so. Hellfire isn't any less predictable or one-dimensional than Beyond the Apocalypse, but these Norwegians are obviously good at what they do — and Hellfire, limitations and all, does nothing to hurt 1349's reputation as masters of skillfully vicious sensory assault.

Customer Reviews

The perfect album from the perfect band

1349 was just finding its sound in Liberation, discovering its true niche in Beyond the Apocalypse, and has perfected it in Hellfire. "I Am Abomination" starts out with this incredibly awesome and hardcore riff, accompanied by roaring, screaming vocals that Ravn has never demonstrated before. It cuts into several other fantastic melodies before coming back to the original riff in an explosive conclusion. Nathicana is a little slower, yet still wrenches at the listener's soul with its constantly pounding intensity. Sculptor of Flesh packs several melodies that are extremely sinister and infernal. Celestial Deconstruction is massive and slow, but it slowly deconstructs anything that's not hellfire inside the listener. To Rottendom is incredibly fast and powerful, shooting into you like a fiery missile as Ravn goes on about everything dying. From the Deeps alarmingly comes close to Aqualung (I think) at one point, but it still thrashes at you with its licking tongues of fire. Slaves to Slaughter is amazing. As soon as you hear Ravn yell "SLAVVVESSSS TOOOOOO SLAUUUUUGTHARRRRR!" you know you're in for it. That knowledge is confirmed as the guitarist goes into melodies worthy of people being tossed into hell. And that brings us to the title track, Hellfire. 1349's magnum opus. It is 13 minutes and 49 seconds long, and this reference to the band's nomenclature implies that they tried to make this song perfect. They did. It's more or less the same notes over and over and over, with this AMAZING riff repeating 4 times throughout the song. After the second occurrence of the riff, the few notes begins to deviate into other amazing patterns, leaving you completely immersed in the hell. After the amazing riff finally concludes its fourth repetition, the song enters this incredibly fast melody and practically explodes. At the end of this incredible climax, the song ends like a pocket of hell exploding into a massive pillar of flame, and the remainder of the track is a sound of a man cackling sinisterly as the flames of hell burn. You need this break because Hellfire is so overpowering that you can't simply stop listening to it. You need a cooldown, because it completely floods you with extremeness. The entire album does this. Hellfire, as an album, is why I think 1349 is the best band ever. It is perfection.

Most slaming Black band on Candlelight Records

A stunning and exemplar example of the genre. 1349 has outdone itself. Especially poignant is the track "Nathica." We will be hearing from this group for years to come. Personally I think that my friend Willy Wumpa Cheeks is an "abomination" who was born in sodom.


Indeed very brutal, if I'm not mistaken frost? the drummer from satyricon?! I love that guy! Unless Frost is a popular name in the black metal scene(which I'm a little new to) but anyways, this ablum is generally fast definatley a black metal album and it has that black metal hiss(which i cant get enough of) guitars are extremly technical for a black metal band and the drums...were do I begin? A must have for fans of old school satyricon, emperor darkthrone etc. etc.


Formed: 1997 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Until they began taking chances with their sound later on in their career, 1349 were a traditional Norwegian black metal band -- both musically and visually -- that took their name from the year in which the black death arrived on Scandinavian shores…need we say more? Well, if you must know, the band originated in the city of Oslo, in 1997, born of the ashes of an earlier group named Alvheim featuring vocalist and drummer Olav "Ravn" Bergene, guitarist André "Tjalve" Kvebek, and bassist Tor Risdal...
Full Bio
Hellfire, 1349
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Customer Ratings