HELL FURNACE - Exaltation of Wisdom
Now it has passed I am looking back on 2010 as a vintage year for the underground. There was a deluge of excellent releases by excellent bands right through the year. One of the very best, and probably my personal favourite was Exaltation of Wisdom. Not only does it represent the darkness that keeps Black Metal alive in such a tremendous way but it also casts the listener into a timeless void of deep thought and reflection.
I know my heraldings of the best album of 2010 are not hollow
Side Phosphoros begins with the haunting and scene setting intro ‘Incinerating Illumination’ which at first seems needlessly long, but really is one of the most appropriate intros I have heard to date. As it culminates in static, and ‘Like The Serpent’ opens up with echoing guitars and fast hammering percussion, I know my heraldings of the best album of 2010 are not hollow. Sounding like a modern version of all the best bits of early Black Metal in the space of several seconds is something to admire.
As Kæffel’s metaphysically imbued vocals come forth to complete the sound the listener will realise this is something special and is transported into the deepest caverns of foreboding and dark magic ritual. It is hard to describe the music and do it any accurate justice because it is simply so good. While it has verses and differing passages at different tempos it seems to loop and progress seamlessly; sounds odd but it really gets into your head.
incorporating a depth and richness of atmosphere that is very very rarely heard
‘Perpetual Eclipse Stigmata’ rattles into existence and reminds me of De Mysteriis era Mayhem…but a Thousand times better. This song made me realise the scope and proficiency of the production. Perfectly raw and rough enough to carry the treble heavy sound but incorporating a depth and richness of atmosphere that is very very rarely heard.
The closing incantation of this side is ‘The Final Breath Of Mankind’ which is swiftly becoming one of my all time favourite tracks – eclipsing dozens of what I thought were masterpieces from years gone by. Such a magnificently written and executed composition with a hallucinogenic tone to both music and lyrics. The drumming is amazing and whips up massive aggression right from its opening orchestral roll, the guitars following suit.
Although it sounds like the other tracks initially it dissolves into a riff of such despairing and woe for the opening two verses but without warning erupts. Using a short violent guitar which broadens out but then constricts once more to violence. Like all truly great songs of the genre it doesn’t stick with one formula and uses yet another passage to finish in turbulence prompted by the tolling of a ritualistic bell.
Side ‘Kaosphoros’ lives up to its name and commences with fast angry riffing as ‘Mystery Of The Fallen’ gets underway and becomes even faster and even angrier in a short space of time. All the while there is the all permeating magical atmosphere, like the Listener is actually one of the key components in complicated demonic or paranormal summoning. Not many songs make you properly aware of darkness like that.
‘Light Beyond The Obscure’ takes its time to deliver the first massive verse and surprised me by slowing down into the section after it. While the songs seem to blend together you can’t accuse Hetroertzen of being formulaic. The subtlety of their writing means that you’ll be picking out parts you never recognise for a long time as you traverse the bleak abyss they’ve created.
Finally ‘The White Priestcraft’ adds a bejewelled crown upon ‘Exaltation of Wisdom’. Encapsulating all that is so supreme about the writing on this album it begins with a primer section that lays the foundations nicely for old school savagery to materialise – without haste or the need for vocals Hetroertzen can radiate atmosphere and malevolence. There is a nice thrashy part included too near the end, some fierce drumming and clean(ish) shouted vocals. However the final dying scream is fitting in its necrotic splendour.
With such a lavish presentation as this Lamech Records deserves special mention
Not only is the music on this release so impeccable but the packaging complements what’s on the heavyweight vinyl too. With such a lavish presentation as this Lamech Records deserves special mention for creating a quality collectors item worthy for the hardcore supporters of underground Black Metal as it is limited to 500 blood numbered copies. The card used for the outer sleeve feels ornate and the inside is coloured red – a really subtle but nice contrast. The inner sleeve is also printed on both sides with ritualistic artwork.
There is also a poster and most notable of all a booklet entitled ‘Book of the Dragon’s Art’ which features lyrics and plenty of great artwork that further commends the release. Although not the best comparison it’s like Hetroertzen’s very own Necronomicon. If you are serious about your music then this is about as serious as you can get to date. Nothing short of masterful can describe this album, you need to own it.
Review by Waffen.
BLACK METAL REVIEWS - Exaltation of Wisdom
It’s over two years since this masterpiece was released on vinyl but ‘Exaltation Of Wisdom’ is still available if you know where to look and is an album that every Black Metal fan should probably have in his / her collection. Simply put, herein you will find an intriguing ritual that constitutes some of the most incredible underground music crafted in the last decade or so.
I initially purchased the stunning digi CD version due to the high cost of shipping the record from Sweden; then I belatedly opted to add the vinyl edition to my collection when I spotted it in the Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions webstore for just €19 plus postage (which worked out at €6 per record if I purchased two). Thus, the glory was mine for just €25 including P&P.
Sweden-based Chileans Hetroertzen emit a fantastic strain of Luciferian Black Metal … esoteric, gnostic, magical. This is occult BM of the highest possible variety and the inclusion of a really cool 28-page book(let) called ‘Book of the Dragon’s Art’ – which contains all lyrics as well as directions on locating the key that unlocks the tree of life – adds to the mystique of the music.
Obviously, I don’t believe there’s any spiritual enlightenment to be had but the accompanying literature serves to contextualise the album and lends it an otherworldly, supernatural dimension, which always works well with underground music. The included extras make ‘Exaltation Of Wisdom‘ more dramatic, more lofty, more theatrical. Plus, the music is fucking tremendous and that’s all that matters really.
RAW WAR MUSIC - Exaltation of Wisdom
Heteroertzens fourth album is a damn fine example of serious occult black metal, everything from the finetuned mix of harsh nordic tunes from the 90´s with spacy and atmospheric voids from the 00´s brings them over the clouds and into the black sun!
From the first intro track "Incinerating Illumination" to the last majestic (and rocking!) song "The White Priestcraft" you will be spellbound!
It is evident that much thought has gone into the whole record and it really pays off, the only thing thats a bit off here is the cover artwork.... it is quite ugly and feels like a child done it.... thats strange because all of the other artwork in the booklet etc looks much better, ah well thats just a little "cut in the corner" when everything else is so great as it is here.
And there liveshows this year looks out of the extraordinary, google them why won´t ya!
Exaltation of Wisdom
I think a lot of Black Metal bands have forgotten how to write good songs and how to play with honesty, passion, and integrity. Countless bands try to reinvent the genre by adding elements from other genres. Often times it does sound interesting, but most times it turns out sounding like shite. This review makes it sound like I am about to go off on a negative patch, but far from it actually.
Hetroertzen are one of those Black Metal bands that have NOT forgotten the "old ways" of writing Black Metal. This Occult Black Metal outfit from Chile (apparently now relocated to Sweden) assert its power by it's 2010 release of "Exaltation Of Wisdom", an album that has a dense and think production. Guitars are clear while still retaining a perfect amount of distortion with lumbering chord durations, with the bass actually at a decent level in the mix. Helping pack a punch at just the right moments, while the drums pound unrelentlessly, serving their purpose they do the job just right and that is just the point I think Hetroertzen were trying to get across. Imagine walking through a pitch-black temple hall with pillars of serpents on both sides of you, that's the fantastic atmosphere this album creates.
"Exaltation of Wisdom" is an album which combines amazing lyrical content with solid Black Metal music to give the feeling of overwhelming conviction and darkness in every moment of this album. This isn't just a band passing off some cheap comments about Satan and or the Occult. Hetroertzen are unified by their beliefs and thoroughly convicted to their cause. A video on YouTube (see below) posted recently of Hetroertzen playing live at this years Arosian Black Mass Festival in Sweden proves just that. It looks like a true ritual.
I honestly do not know why more people are not talking about this album. While investigating Hetroertzen more I noticed that their Record Label has also put out some very interesting and amazing Black Metal works. LvxCælis - Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII (2012) also from Chile is quite amazing (review coming soon) as is Dodsengel - Imperator (2012). You should all definitely check them out if you are into Black Metal with a bit of the Occult mixed throughout, as I am. Back to "Exaltation Of Wisdom", pick this album up. You will find yourself listening over and over again. I highly recommend this release. I look forward to a future release and possible Hetroertzen interview with our little zine.
(Lamech Records/ Barghest )
9/10 - Review by Ghost
SURREAL GORYFICATION - Exaltation of Wisdom
In my everyday, routine-like viewing of youtube I managed, including old classics and new favorites, to find a new band I've never heard or seen before of the type Luciferian Black Metal. The first thing that struck me was the logo, one of those typical unreadable, demonic design of white lines on a black backround, just as I want it. "Hetroertzen" could be faintly read in the logo. I fired the song "The Final Breath of Mankind", and already in the first ten seconds I was hooked. The riffs were reminiscent of my personal favorite band, Nightbringer and the vocals had good variation between classical BM-growl vocals and monk stylish vocals alá Attila Csihar.
The guitars occasionally play icy riffs on top of slow droning drums and then switch to the crunching riffs and fast blast beats, which provide a stunning contrast. What also struck me was that the thoughts never flew away to other places, instead i felt constantly focused on the music, thanks to all the nuances and changes that took place through the song, it was never boring and i were overwhelmed again and again.
I arranged the fastest possible way of listening to the entire disc including that song, that is called "Exaltation of Wisdom" which is also their latest album. Straight through the disc, I felt the same enthusiasm and burning sensation as I felt with "The Final Breath of Mankind". This disc persuaded me in just one hour, and I am immediately entranced by the infernal opus the duo "Hetroertzen" has created.
The band is originally from Chile but now has its roots here in my motherland Sweden, and as previously mentioned, they are a duo. One member from Sweden and one from chile. This year's greats find, for my part. I would say this band fits ears that has a penchant for Nightbringer and also the Greek band Embrace of Thorns. To sum, this is a band with good contrast and a good mix of bright and dark, and fast and slow sections. Give it a listen, you won't be dissapointed.
Review by Erik.
MY LAST CHAPTER - Exaltation of Wisdom
To be perfectly honest it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I even began to notice Hetroertzen, but for some reason or another I never really gave them that much attention. Suppose it’s ‘cause there’s such an overload of bands to check out that some great ones just fall between the cracks of a lament amount of half-arsed closet acts. Exaltation of wisdom was originally released on vinyl back in 2010, but it wasn’t until towards the re-release on CD in 2011, and the band’s performance at Arosian Black Mass (which I was unfortunate enough not to attend) that I first gave them a good listen. And when a promo of the album arrived I could really dwell in the darkness that is Hetroertzen.
The re-boot of the album has really been given a lot of attention, and a careful eye to details and aesthetics. With a rather luxurious digi-pack and a massive booklet containing loads of obscure and sinister artwork it feels like the aesthetical impression is almost as equally important as the music, to complete the atmosphere of their sound. Just flipping through the booklet, entitled “The Dragon’s art”, isn’t enough to get the full picture. One really has to take in the lyrics and art to get even the slightest sense of the ideas that makes Hetroertzen. I, for one, most certainly don’t fully understand it, perhaps ‘cause I’ve never studied any black arts, but I’m truly intrigued. However, I’m guessing most folks won’t care all that much about what the band wants to get across, as most folks don’t care about the message of bands and are only interested in what they sound like. These people will often miss out on enlightenment, but then again I suppose ones senses does get dulled after years and years of metal band’s just going “Satan this, Satan that” and “kill all the Christians”, but without any real conviction behind it. But the first lines of Like the serpent reads “Blessed are those spirits of the air who came unto me to possess my mind so that I could write these lines”, proving that there really is a message and conviction behind this.
After an ambient intro (that actually is good ambience and not just ambience for the sake of it) of Incinerating illumination we get served the aforementioned Like the serpent, and we’re instantly drawn into the dense atmosphere. The bone-chilling guitar tone and the immense depth of the production really create a massive wall of sound. The drums hold a deep and powerful sound, in particular the bass drum, and combined with the already established cold sound of the guitar, and the slightly reverbed vocals, this is the recipe for overwhelming atmosphere.
It’s not always the most exciting and mind-blowing riffing, but with such power and hypnotic approach that you’re still convinced this is the shit. And they do throw in some curveballs here and there, like for instance parts of the riffing in The final breath of mankind, which is just screwy tempo-wise, and doesn’t really resemble the overall style of the band’s material. But it’s good to add such brief breaks from the mold since it keeps things interesting. For the most part the sound of Hetroertzen could probably best be described as a mixture of the overall European style of black metal and the Swedish melodic black of the 90ies, with just a hint of the Norwegian rasp. It’s interesting, ‘cause I keep picturing myself the harshness of old Troll, the ritualistic and violent approach of Aosoth, and perhaps even the hasty touch of early Dark Funeral, but without really coming close to the end-result. But as of now that’s the best I can do to describe it.
For the most part the pace is blasting, and it works perfectly to purvey brutality, but with lots of slower moments to really give the hypnotic guitar a chance to get full effect. Throughout it all the vocals hold a steady semi-gnarled and raspy screech, but occasionally backed up by a clean howl, which just adds to the atmosphere. There are really no faults or flaws here, and as a massive black metal album goes this comes damn close to perfect. I’m not sure how the original LP release sounds like, since this edition’s been re-mixed and re-mastered, but I will most certainly pick up a copy of that one too, just to experience it on the proper format (I am, after all, still a vinyl nut).
LORDS OF METAL - Exaltation of Wisdom
Hetroertzen: who is familiar with them? Well, Lords of Metal wasn’t, since this is their very first exposure on our site. The band is originally from Chile and started out as Hhadha in 1997, and changed its name to the more Nordic sounding Hetroertzen (I have no clue as to what it means nevertheless). The band is made out of Åskväder (a lady called Giannina Pizzoleo, known as editor with Doomsday Testament) on guitar and bass and Kæffel (a.k.a. Walter Tölg-Opitz Villarroel) on vocals, guitar and drums. ‘Exaltation Of Wisdom’ is the band’s fourth release: it was originally release don vinyl in 2010, but was released in a great looking digipack by Lamech Records in 2011.
Okay, a band from Chile that moved to Sweden: not a strange move. Because now that I have to characterize the music I must admit that it sounds like a mix of the rawer Swedish black metal acts (Ondskapt/Nåstrond and a more raw primitive IXXI, not that technical like Dissection or Dark Funeral), Darkthrone at the time of albums like ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ and ‘Panzerfaust’ and theatrical vocal elements that remind me of a band like Root. The duration of the entire album is also considerable (well over 50 minutes) and basically it is an album for the diehard fans of underground Swedish black metal who want a bit more regarding influences, but who give a shit about renewal or originality. The amazing part is that is sounds freezing nordic, and not just obscure primitive dark like so many South American acts. On the other hand I have to say that all songs are good, yet that I miss a peak, a song that stands out. This causes the album to sound a bit too much alike, without real points of identification. Nevertheless, piece by piece, we are dealing with good songs, with plenty of variety and bridges, and even melancholy is melted in with the pure black metal songs. My personal favourite is ‘Perpetual Eclipse Stigmata’ because it has the most influences of old Darkthrone, and I am a sucker for that band (old Darkthrone rules!).
Quite an enjoyable album, well performed and produced for this genre and brought in the right mood, and that is what matters in this scene. The instruments are in balance, and despite the fact that Hetroertzen is a duo, it sounds like a real band effort. It pays to buy the CD since the artwork is magnificent and also it contains a beautiful booklet on which the band has for 666% sure spent a lot of work. Good stuff!
METAL ARCHIVES - Exaltation of Wisdom
Masterful Occult Black Metal
The CD version of Hetroertzen's fourth full-length, "Exaltation of Wisdom", released by Lamech Records in collaboration with Barghest, comes in impressive deluxe digipak with even more impressive 24-pages booklet with lyrics and great illustrations that perfectly supplement the audial part of the release and help the listener to understand the album's conception and to set the appropriate mood for the listening séance.
The album's musical part consists of ambient intro and six black metal tracks with thoughtful structure and mystical atmosphere. Composition-wise it reminds of Norwegian, Swedish and German black metal classics of the 1990's with their alternation of fast and relentless passages with slower atmospheric parts. Sound-wise, though, "Exaltation of Wisdom" is closer to the recent adepts of occult black metal like Nightbringer or Acherontas; I'd say it is closer to the former than the latter as Hetroertzen retains rather ascetic approach to melodiousness: their riffs are mostly grim and cold, and never overtly melodic or "catchy", though at times they venture on some lyrical digressions like in the part with soloing guitar in "Mystery of the Fallen". One reason for the comparison with the abovementioned bands is the use of melodic dissonances that wasn't that frequent 15 or 20 years ago, though it is nicely contrasted with occasional clean epic backing vocals performed by Orm (Ormgad, Wod etc) that create additional ties to the old Scandinavian bands. The album culminates in the final track called "The White Priesthood", which is perhaps the most outstanding here with its combination of tasty atmospheric riffs with more old-school thrash/heavy-flavoured parts.
This album has everything that the true black metal should have: decent compositions, excellent musicianship, thoughtful lyrics and serious approach to the recording and mixing process with the retention of characteristic rawness of the sound and the creation of great magical atmosphere. Recommended to everyone looking for serious occult black metal.
Score: 94 / 100 by Fulgurious
FROM THE DUST RETURNED - Exaltation of Wisdom
Hetroertzen is a formerly Chilean black metal entity now located in Sweden, which has continued to elevate itself through each of three full-length recordings in the past decade. Exaltation of Wisdom was its fourth album, originally released in 2010 but given a lavish new treatment through Barghest records. Remixed, remastered and all decked out in an extravagant package with (largely) eye catching artwork and lyrics, it's apparent that the label and band are really concerned with its aesthetic value, and they should be: this is a tight execution, an album clearly rooted in the traditions of 90s European black metal, but dowsing its blasted visage with loads of resonant atmosphere through the guitar tone.
The vocals fall somewhere between the standard black metal rasp and the more garbled and decrepit tones of, say, Inquisition, though they often apply more ominous or salacious backing rasps and growls that help add to the cavern-like ceiling created by the guitars. Most of the riffs are steady, tremolo-driven processions of chords which are injected with glimmers of haunting, enormous atmosphere due to the glint of higher, ringing notes amidst the roiling murk, and some examples of this would be "Like the Serpent" or "Perpetual Eclipse Stigmata". However, this is not some one trick record, and the band will often lapse into a darker, doomed pace ala "The Final Break of Mankind" or the bridge of closer "The White Priestcraft". Hetroertzen prides itself on a particular, hypnotic effect through the airy, harrowing curvature of the guitars, and I feel that this often transpires at the expense of the individual riff-strength, but if you're turning to this genre more for its atmosphere than muscle, Exaltation of Wisdom functions admirably.
I did quite like the setup for this album, in particular the contrast from the swelling ambient intro "Incinerating Illumination" to the charging turmoil of "Like the Serpent", to the extent that I would not have minded some more pure ambient breaks throughout the various tracks, but this is something Hetroertzen have front-loaded for the album. There are certainly a few cuts that exceed the 10 minute mark, and though this is not accomplished through mass repetition they do tend to drag their feet along, offering few incendiary thrills deep in their midst. However, the production is quite strong, the lyrics sinister and introspective, and the overall package one that should peak the interest of those seeking a more cavernous alternative to the standard, raw necrosis of the genre. Fans of acts like Xasthur, Pestilential Shadows, Aosoth, Blut Aus Nord, Leviathan, or the latest crop of ominous, reverb soaked retro death would likely find something to enjoy here.
HAMMER SMASHED SOUND - Exaltation of Wisdom
Written by: Krumbled Kookie
Bands are seemingly always trying to reinvent black metal - incorporating sounds from other genres or tinkering with the dynamics to try to do something new and fresh. I'm all for experimentation, because without it, things tend to stagnate and sound rather lifeless. But sometimes there's just too much experimentation going on and no matter their good intentions, bands lose track of the roots of black metal and end up sounding lame.
And honestly, black metal never really needed to be reinvented; for a while, bands just forgot how to write good songs and how to play with honesty, passion, and integrity. That is most certainly not the case for Chilean black metal horde Hetroertzen, whose album Exaltation of Wisdom is one of the most refreshingly crisp black metal albums that I've heard in quite a while. They're not doing anything new or revolutionary for black metal, but that is by all means a good thing, because they've focused their creative energies on simply making a high-quality black metal record.
Exaltation of Wisdom, the band's fourth full-length album, is made up of 7 songs and clocks in at about 52 minutes. Their is no filler here - all 7 songs are perfect in and for what they are. They are generally fast-paced, rhythmically driving occult black metal songs that feature great riffs, killer leads that are perfectly placed and not over-done (almost an 80s heavy metal vibe to some of the leads, which I LOVE), scathing vocals, and the unholiest of dark and irreverent atmospheres. The atmosphere on this record is intense, and while everything else is well done, the atmosphere is what drives this into the category of being a great record instead of just a very good one. The aura is not bone-chillingly haunting or overwhelmingly claustrophobic - just dark, menacing, and mysterious enough to make you want to play this record again and again. What I am reminded of when I play this is the first time I heard Nightbringer's Death and the Black Work, which just happens to be a favorite of mine. Perhaps that gives you some context.
I honestly can't get enough of it. My recommendation is that you pick this CD up from Barghest today (sorry, don't know of a US distro, but it's worth paying for the overseas shipping costs, which shouldn't be too high in the first place - it's just a CD) and play it loud. I spent all morning shaking the walls of my house with it, and it felt great. Comes in a nice full-color digipack with a 24 page booklet featuring lyrics and tremendous artwork.
While you're at Barghest, I can also recommend the debut cassette EP from Iceland's Vansköpun. 3 songs, about 19 minutes of fierce, hard-hitting, no-frills black metal. Brutal and heavy, it promises of good things to come from these gents. A couple of these songs are pretty damned catchy, and tend to get stuck in your head if you're not careful.
sacred is the Cross
sacred is the Trial
sacred is the Light
sacred is the Fire
FOREVER CURSED - Exaltation of Wisdom
Amazing dark, ritualistic black metal from Chile. Hetroertzen's "Exaltation of Wisdom" has everything that a true Black Metal should have: decent compositions, excellent musicianship, thoughtful lyrics and serious approach to the recording and mixing process with the retention of characteristic rawness of the sound and the creation of great magical atmosphere that will give you some chills on the back of your skull. I never heard of this band before, found them while i was shopping on the web.. really shopping, yeah i buy albums too. I was totally blown away by the quality of this, only took a few listens to the track "Like the Serpent" for me to be totally surrendered to this mystical and occult Black Metal preached by Hetroertzen. Absolutely brilliant. Recommended to everyone into serious occult Black Metal. You can buy this wonderful Digi-CD, which have been remastered, with 24 page booklet with Lyrics and Art here. Highly Recommended.