“Sulfur and Bane”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Just last year, Principality of Hell scorched us with “Fire and Brimstone”. Now they’re already back to bury us in “Sulfur and Bane” with more of their old school “first wave” black metal debauchery. This Greek band, led by The Magus from Necromantia, makes no secret of their devotion to Venom, Bathory, Possessed and other icons of 80’s BM, but I am surprised by the advancement in sound they’ve made on “Sulfur and Bane”.

While the debut was pretty much just crude, raw rocking, this new one sees POH trying a more epic and sonically advanced style. “Sons of The Desert” is an epic way beyond what they’ve done before, whirling through a wide variety of tones, tempos and riffs. “The Invisible Empire” and “The Marble Witch” are further examples of this shift. But don’t fret if you like it raw, fast and dirty…the title track, “The Diabolist” and “Den of the Serpent” all fit that description admirably. The vocals are also deeper and more “death metal” on “Invisible Empire” and “The Black Ram”.

In a further show of devotion to the ancient arts, the record features many faithful covers of 80’s black metal classics, some of them with guest vocalists. Slayer’s “Black Magic”, Razor’s “Evil Invaders” and naturally, Venom’s “In League With Satan” make the cut.

Principality of Hell still operates as a tribute to demons of old, but I think their own material is starting to show a bit more of their own personality. Definitely worth a hail from old school backpatchers.