France's Hell Militia have been kicking (unfortunate) Euro ass since the early aughts, so it stands to reason there's a "sizeable" contingent of believers into the group's three full-length albums, the most recent of which is Jacob's Ladder on the Season of Mist label. "Jacob's Ladder reveals the inner side of Hell Militia," says the non-corpsepainted Hell Militia in a prepared statement. "Violent and dissonant, urban and religious, the new Hell Militia is a mix of old-school black metal and modern black metal." And they're pretty on-target with that blurb. Jacob's Ladder has enough of the Mütiilation's never-stop-the-madness stuff combined with the high concept black of homeland homies Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord to compete with the best of 'em. The album strikes a blasphemous balance. Even the album art is "different" yet "different". Although Season of Mist would have you believe there's "accessible songwriting" to be found on Hell Militia's third full-length, it's not of the Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth approach. It's dissonant, angular, and altogether conceived from a different astral (possibly nefarious) plane. What else would you expect from dudes who moonlighted in Mütiilation and the ultra-caustic Arkhon Infaustus?
Recorded at SOS Studios in Germany---also home to alt-black sensation Secrets of the Moon---Jacob's Ladder's brutal art is best displayed on near album's end track, "Deus Irae". Normally, we would've suggested a track 1 or track 2 pull, as that's where the gems are posited for prime indoctrination, but with Hell Militia it's all backward. Like life. So, imbibe in Hell Militia's roaring hate. Better to do it now before the "pig" comes again.
** Hell Militia's new album, Jacob's Ladder, is out November 16th on Season of Mist underground imprint Underground Activists. It's available HERE, or you can go get that Gatling gun replica you've been fawning over recently. Now, that's some real "war metal".