Rising from the ashes of their former manifestations, Poland’s Blaze of Perdition have come far since that fateful day in November of 2014 when a van accident in Austria killed their original bassist Wojciech “23” Janus and severely injured vocalist Paweł “Sonneillon” Marzec and then drummer Krzysztof “Wizun” Saran. Since then, Blaze of Perdition have been forced to recover physically and otherwise, to regenerate more than once, and to reestablish themselves time and time again as one of Poland’s premier black metal acts.
Following the release of their comeback albums, 2015’s aptly titled Near Death Revelations and 2017’s Conscious Darkness, drummer Wizun departed, and this left the band clinging to existence with only two members left, Sonneillon and original guitarist Łukasz “XCIII” Barański, as they still hadn’t found a permanent bassist to replace 23 by this time. But instead of folding, Blaze of Perdition decided to soldier on, reform ranks once more, and not give in to the many tragedies and adversities that had befallen them.
Upon finding permanent replacements for Wizun and 23 in 2018, Blaze of Perdition could finally focus on moving forward once more, and not long after the current lineup coalesced, the reputable Metal Blade Records finally came a’knocking. Now, in early 2020, the rejuvenated and reinvented Blaze of Perdition have officially returned with their fifth full-length album, The Harrowing of Hearts; and after more than twelve remarkably trying years of chipping away at the old block, this may finally be the album that leads this indefatigable group to international acclaim and success.
The Harrowing of Hearts signals the beginning of another phase in the maturation of Blaze of Perdition. Expertly produced and executed, The Harrowing of Hearts is by far the finest material that Blaze of Perdition have ever recorded, not only because it sounds cleaner and clearer than anything they’ve put out before – which it absolutely does – but also because the songs themselves display a level of sophistication, competence, and melodic potency never heard from these Polish veterans heretofore. Striking, mesmerizing, and fully engrossing, The Harrowing of Hearts represents Blaze of Perdition’s greatest achievement to date, and, taken as a whole, is a force to be reckoned with.
From heart pounding start to celestial finish, The Harrowing of Hearts is wholly satisfying, but if you’re looking for favorite tracks, then be sure not to skip “Suffering Made Bliss”, “Transmutation of Sins”, or “The Great Seducer”. In all honesty, though, you could also simply just hit shuffle, randomly land on one of the seven tracks, then sit back and enjoy, as every song is completely spectacular.
The Harrowing of Hearts by Blaze of Perdition is available everywhere now, so grab yourself a copy if you like what you’ve read and heard (press play below to listen to the full album!) and stay metal, always! Nunc Dimmitis. \m/
Rating: 9.5 / 10
Release Date: February 14th, 2020 (Metal Blade Records)
Influences and Contemporaries: Behexen, Naglfar, Schammasch, The Noctambulant, Oubliette, Vananidr, Primeval Mass