Hasufel – Lord of Carrion
10.31.17 by Ryan Masteller


Proving that blast beats and shredding guitars do not necessarily black metal make, Hasufel dons the dark robe of the mystic high priest and invites us all along for a gloom-and-doom-filled ride through the mist and the fog toward an unholy meeting place where the veil separating the spirit realm from this mortal coil becomes thin. As the groans from minor keys upon an organ (patch) and the rhythmic dragging of chains menace upon the wind, I have some great news for those who are even remotely interested – as I write, Halloween is almost upon us, and you could do way worse than Hasufel for a guide to navigate you through the “season of the witch.” And it would sure help if he had some Peanut Butter Cups or Snickers in his pockets – I’d hoist up this idiotic hot dog top and follow him into the breach in a heartbeat if there was the possibility of pocket candy. We could get hungry along the way.

Proving also that you can get real dark with a bunch of synths, and taking cues from such likeminded souls as Lustmord and Coil, Hasufel only partially sheds the identity of “Dylan Ettinger,” synth maestro behind such classics as “Botany Bay,” “New Age Outlaws,” and “Lifetime of Romance.” But gone are the sci-fi nods and the post-punk trappings, and in their place are transcendental dirges and paeans to weird deities who probably have no right inhabiting this plane of existence (or, if they do have a right to be here, it’s bad news for everybody). Something as sacred-sounding as “Thrall to the Carrion Lord” is obviously intended to conjure wicked spirits, especially since “Carrion Lord” suggests a grotesque presence that the hymn is lifted to. But Hasufel is not bent on widespread ruin, not yet anyway – he’s simply massing his forces to accompany his mystical deeds.

At once ancient-sounding and future-looking, “Lord of Carrion” marks a determined and exciting hard left turn for Dylan Ettinger. It’s frightening and intense, gripping and repulsive all at once, “awful” as in both “full of awe” and “that demon heading toward me is awful, I’m outta here.” These mournful, preparatory incantations should serve as harbingers of apocalypse, whether of the cinematic variety or simply the famine-y/plague-y kind where most humans are wiped off the face of the planet and everything becomes a barren wasteland. If “Lord of Carrion” is any indication, that wasteland may already be present in Hasufel’s black heart.

“Lord of Carrion” comes in an edition of 100 (a big Masonic number, I think!) direct from the pits of Hasufel’s lair in … sunny Los Angeles. *facepalm*