I’m not known to be a fan of Progressive metal, so when I saw that FROMHELL class themselves as “Progressive Black Metal” I was dubious. I decided that, in the spirit of Metal I carried on with my mind thoroughly open about them. Formed back in 2004 and hailing from Indonesia, “March On Gravitation” is the band’s second release following “Dynasty” in 2013. I’m struggling to find much more information about these guys, but as we all know obscurity is the name of the game with Black Metal.
What I am introducing you to is sheer musical chaos. Beginning with “A Million Caster & Steller Space”, FROMHELL are not being subtle in their mission to push boundaries. The main body of the track is a chugging guitar riff and ghostly and ethereal synthesisers, but on top of that are dark brooding clean vocals, piercing shrieks and even a nice acoustic guitar number. All of this is in the same very long song, and while on paper it sounds like it should be choppy and mismatched, if you give time to listen to it everything fits together.
This isn’t a one track wonder, every song on this album has been carefully infused with FROMHELL’S energetic creativity. It’s a refreshing change from the norm, while still keeping the raw energy and power that has come to define Black metal since its inception and you can hear this in the band’s attention to detail in the production quality… but I do worry that this is a very busy album, and this could alienate even progressive fans.
It’s also worth noting that the shortest track on “March on Gravitation” is 8.03 minutes long, and that this album isn’t something you can appreciate without giving your full attention. So if you want to give it a listen, give yourself a good hour or so. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing we all love music after all, it just may put some people off.
I have massive respect for FROMHELL, they have taken the genre and given it a bloody good shake and at the same time they have managed to keep the production at a high standard. The album is a marathon, with every single track being over 8 minutes and the sheer complexity at some points its rewarding, but not for the faint hearted. All that aside “March On Gravitation” is great album, with hugely complex music and the raw emotive power of Black Metal. It’s a must for anyone who’s looking for something different.
1.A Million Caster & Stellar Space
4.The Abandoned Stargate
5.Rotary Of Life
6.Conqueror Of The Massive Star & Celestial Night
Dedi Sadikin (Vocal)
Derick Prawira (Drum)