HINSIDES (swe) – Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: https://www.shadowrecords.se
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/under-betlehems-brinnande-stj-rna
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/shadowrecords.se

Band line-up:



1. Afsägelserit
2. Genom döden återfödt
3. Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna
4. Macabre (Samhain cover)
5. Skymningsfärd
6. Frälst i dödsstöten
7. På jordelifwets sorgetåg








Hinsides are a black metal band from Sweden, who will be releasing their debut full length album ‘Under Betlehems Brinnande Stjarna’ on 9th July 2021, through Shadow Records/Regain Records. It will be available on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. It follows last year’s split EP with fellow BM comrades Monstraat. Hinside’s latest effort is their most depraved, yet their most melodic and magical, too. Lasting only 27 minutes, it has a good deal of insanity and will appeal to rampant souls who want a not-TOO-serious shot of evil adrenaline. 

First track ‘Afsagelserit’ sounds a bit like ‘Phantom of the Opera’, by Andrew Lloyd Webber in places. Well one of the guitar riffs does. I’m not saying the song sounds EXACTLY the same. Far from it in fact. It sounds more like Mayhem. The mild, overdriven guitar chords at the end of the same track are really cool, and it’s somewhat of a different sound, too. The lack of truly harsh distortion, really makes the harmonies shine, without them sounding too ‘nice’. It’s a shame such ideas weren’t expanded upon, more. You get hints of similar ideas in the following and final track, but by ‘hints’ I mean they last a couple of seconds. ‘Skymningsfard’ has some more extensive overdriven solo parts, but they are fairly everyday arpeggios that don’t really generate strong, mystical feelings. Tracks ‘Genom Doden Aterfodt’ and ‘Under Bethlehem’s Brinnande Stjanarna’ have some very nice bass playing in. Not too flashy, but certainly rather notey and cool. In a way I’m reminded of Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, mixed with Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris. 

Other than the stuff just mentioned, this is fairly typical black metal, really. The composition is perfectly fine throughout, technically speaking, it’s just I often hear bands who seem to copy everyone else 95% of the time, then do something really cool, only for the idea to be forgotten about. I don’t know why that is. If I was in such a group, I really cared about my music and wanted to be as successful as possible, I’d keep the gold and scrap pretty much everything else. Not an easy thing to do at all, but nothing difficult is easy. No, that didn’t sound right. Nothing truly original and classic came about easily. That’s better. See? I’m willing to improve myself. Again, it seems most BM bands aren’t. How would you feel if I wrote a review saying nothing but the prior gibberish? That’s how I feel about a lot of artists.

In conclusion, there is little here that is original in any way. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that. Let’s say I’ve done 300 reviews. On reflection I think I’ve said such a comment or at least implied it maybe a hundred times. That’s a lot. One in three. Again, the music is fine technically speaking, it’s just not memorable. The riff of ‘Macabre’ is effective despite it being somewhat simple, but that’s a cover song of the band ’Samhain’. I’m sure many hardened extreme metal fans will enjoy this album at least a little bit, but I won’t be listening to it again. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann