Do Skonu – Hell

Rating: 3.5/5
Label/Distributor: Thou Shalt Kill! Records
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Released: 2016
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Band Line Up

Varagian: Vocals/Guitar/Basshell

D. Kim: Drums

Track Listing
  1. Black Witching Flame
  2. Wormwood Star
  3. …To The Night
  4. Great Threshold
  5. Lightbringer
  6. Death To The World
  7. Plague Devouring The Earth

A injection of potent venom. That is how I would describe “Hell”, the fourth full length album by Ukrainian duo Do Skonu. It is suitably grim, and grimy, and bludgeons the listener in submission. It is quite enjoyable if you live to tell the tale.

Right off the bat, their intent is clear. “Black Witchery Flame” is a decent kvlt assault, replete with icy guitars and a prevailing sense of ghoulishness. It is putrid; kind of like using rotten wood as kindling for fire. Next up is “Wormwood Star”, a blasting maelstrom of a track which hurtles ceaselessly towards some unavoidable cataclysm. The riffing occasionally veers pleasingly into 1980s thrash territory, and is augmented with some subtle keyboard ambience. This is followed by “…To The Night”, with its insistent riffing and compulsive drive.

The threatening atmosphere of “Great Threshold” ensues next. The vocals whisper and drone like wraiths – a sacreligious choir of immoral torpitude. The band deserve considerable credit for their sense of album pacing. The warp speed devastation of “Lightbringer” emphasises this, jarring and insidious as it is. Unfortunately, when the song changes pace it disappears up its own arse. The experience of “Death To The World” is like being attacked by a swarm of psychotic tarantula hawks, each sting injecting more and more venom until soul death is imminent.

The album closes with the gigantic megalith “Plague Devouring The Earth”, an 11 minute nightmare whick invokes feelings of being encased in a concrete tomb for a thousand years, and learning to love the stench.

Do Skonu have honed their craft to an eerily effective level. However, there was one thing which almost spoilt my enjoyment. The vocals are fairly weak; Varagian utilises an Abbath-esque croak which becomes tedious after a time. The quality of the riffing almost makes up for it but not quite.

Review by Owen Thompson