Hjel are a duo from Germany that plays a very atmospheric form of black metal and this is a review of their 2014 ep "Gedanken aus dem Grab" which was released by Senseless Life Records.
Acoustic guitars and spoken words start off the ep and after the brief intro the band goes into a more slow and melodic sounding black metal direction along with some grim vocals/screams and all of the musical instruments sound very powerful and the band also has its fast and raw moments along with a small amount of blast beats.
As the ep progresses a couple of long and epic in length songs are added onto the recording as well as a mixture of slow and mid paced and some fast parts while the main focus is on melodic and atmospheric black metal and at times they also bring in post elements which are done in a more dark and less mainstream manner.
In some of the faster sections of the music the band starts adding in more raw and old school black metal elements along with a small amount of melodic guitar leads and the spoken word parts also make a return briefly, one of the later tracks is an instrumental and on the last song there are some keyboards being used briefly before returning to a heavier direction while still adding in the cleaner parts and bringing back to the acoustic guitars.
Hjel have a very diverse atmospheric black metal sound which combines both modern and old school sounds along with a good amount of melody and a small amount of rawness, the production is very dark and old school sounding while you can still hear all of the musical instruments on the album and the lyrics are written in German and cover darkness and nature themes.
In my opinion Hjel are a very great sounding atmospheric black metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this recording. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Leichenmadchen" and "Im Fieber dieser Nacht - Tote Menschen". 8 out of 10.