Just by looking at the cover of the demo and by seeing its name, one can tell there’s going to be some blasphemous action towards Christian stories and holy mythos. Well, of course it’s quite easy to fool around with things like these and blaspheme as much as you like, but the result can also fall flat on its face if the musical content lacks passion and is simply sloppy, bad humor. So, let’s take a closer look and listen to this tape.
Actually the musical offering of these Canadians is quite tight battering and not quite as filthy and muddy squirming as I first assumed. The cold, harsh riffing and darker mid-tempo sections are well presented in these songs and the music gets a grip on the listener’s mind quite well. Overall the soundscape is sharp and the edgy guitar sound is suitably shredding, but also the bass is nicely audible and strong. And the drums are not just some blurred rumbling, either. Style wise, Hostium isn’t trying to conquer any new territories here, but one can hear a fine balance between atmospheric broodiness and barless speeding. The vocalist shrieks fiercely but his output is not actually out of ordinary. On the other hand, the lower growling sounds very strong and I would have liked to hear more of that ominous vocal style on this demo.
The bleak melancholy and straightforward rage are best combined in the song Wounds of Satanic Obedience. The playing is here and there somewhat middle-of-the-road black metal, but every one of these four tracks has its own set of ideas and melodic hooks, so that the dark fury of Hostium leaves me with quite a pleasant aftertaste.