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HellLight : As We Slowly Fade

HellLight end up just on the wrong side of the fine line between variety versus consistency with this latest album release.

'As We Slowly Fade' is the sixth full-length release of Brazilian Doom act HellLight. The South Americans have not only had a long but also varied career with really curious deviations from Doom Metal very much apparent on 'The Light That Brought Darkness', for example, in which they demonstrated great flexibility to cover bands like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.

My expectations of 'As We Slowly Fade' was that itíd be a straightforward Funeral Doom release. However, little is straightforward describing precisely what is present here. I can see why some have labelled it Funeral Doom but to me, thereís a reasonable amount of Traditional Doom in it too, not to mention some Death/Doom thrown in for good measure. Thereís certainly a combination of all three styles here, thatís for sure, and thatís a dangerous move for any Doom act to make because it runs the risk of potential differences in atmospheres and itís also likely that the band wonít be good at every style, thus lessening the quality of the music on the release.

At this point, I feel like I should say that 'As We Slowly Fade' didnít fully click with me, and I think the fusion of styles is predominantly responsible for such. For example, drifting between spoken vocals, growled vocals, and powerfully sang clean vocals left me confused as to what the band was actually trying to achieve on this composition. Another example would be that their use of keyboards was prominent and great for adding suspense but it seldom seemed to lead anywhere because of the differing styles. Perhaps itís best surmised by saying that the band has some good ideas but theyíve been thrown together rather than worked on separately.

My favourite parts of the album were when they fused slow, powerful riffs with haunting female vocals in the background, and when they stuck to the harsh vocals in conjunction with the keyboards. It was at those points where I thought that HellLight had a good handle on what was happening. I really wasnít a fan of the male clean vocals nor the more up-tempo sections, however - they detracted from the darker atmosphere that the band appeared to want to return to.

In terms of production, I thought 'As We Slowly Fade' was rather good other than when it came to the vocals level in the mix as I often found it a bit too low for my liking. Everything else was well-executed, though.

To summarise, I feel a bit gutted that I canít praise this release as much as I would like to. The parts I enjoyed, I enjoyed a lot. However, the bandís constant desire to flirt with different styles detracted away from what they were best at far too much for my liking. Thereís obviously quality in HellLight; that much is very apparent. Whether they can fully tap into it or not remains to be seen, however, because 'As We Slowly Fade' was just too disjointed for me. Itís certainly a band to keep an eye on for future reference, though.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. As We Slowly Fade
3. While The Moon Darkens
4. The Ghost
5. Bridge Between Life And Death
6. The Land Of Broken Dreams
7. Ocean

Duration : Approx. 65 minutes

Visit the HellLight bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-03-11 by Ian Morrissey
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