OUIJA “Fathomless Hysteros”
By Dr. Abner Mality
Spain’s blackened metal conquistadors OUIJA have been jamming hard and fighting Christ since 1995. That’s worthy of respect, no matter what the actual music is like. Now we’ve got new album “Fathomless Hysteros” blazing out of the underworld and despite OUIJA’s long history, this is the first time I’ve tackled a longplayer of theirs.
Very traditional melodic black metal is what’s on tap here, so expect no major innovations or eccentricity. This is very much 90’s black metal with copious influence from melodic death metal as well. I don’t know if all the members are the same as when they started...I doubt it...but after being part of the scene for so long, OUIJA is 100% professional in every aspect. The album has a dark and grimy sound, yet is more than clear enough to transmit a feeling of epic majesty when called for. They’re also smart enough to mix up their sound and not play the same song 10 times in a row.
First two tracks are very typical of 90’s black metal style, but with “I See Without Eyes”, we have something slow, icy and creepy, a very glacial sounding track that’s the longest on the album. After this, things kick into higher gear. “The Fifth Rider” and “Hijo Del Caido” are fast and riffy, with strong dark melodies. The album ends on a very high note with the last two songs, “Adversary” and “Unbridled Transylvanian Passion”, which show OUIJA at its best. Both have a really epic sound and the latter tune in particular is a great melodic black metal cut with tons of shifting riffs and melodies.
“Fathomless Hysteros” is a very much a trip back to the glory days of the 90’s and should be understood as such.