- Black tape
Formed in 2002, Germany's HAR SHATAN are truly a black metal band from a different time. The sole work of one Zepar, HAR SHATAN hail from an era where extremely limited tapes and vinyl were keys to grim worlds beyond, not prizes to boast about on social media - a time when Germania held a closed-yet-potent scene, fostered by the likes of Sombre and Solistitium. Rawness and passion were king, and so did HAR SHATAN begin their journey. The first demo arrived in 2003, and two split EPs came in 2005, followed by another demo in 2006. In 2009, HAR SHATAN's inevitable debut album arrived. Fittingly bearing the title His Legacy, the album continued this olde-worlde canvas, and just-as-fittingly was extremely limited in its tape and vinyl guises. Then, silence...
Alas, a fell wind blew through the cobs and brings forth HAR SHATAN's LONG-awaited second album, Manum Inicere Alicui. As if nearly a decade-and-a-half had not passed, Zepar marches forward - slowly, at first, with the magisterial opener Intro/Aurora - into glorious times, draped in a monochromatic fog of velvety darkness. Many song styles - and thus, many moods related to that darkness - appear across the 45-minute Manum Inicere Alicui, making for a totality of arcane black metal magick rarely seen this authentically these days. Blistering rawness is a bygone fact now, and frequently faked, but HAR SHATAN's utilization of such serves his songwriting and attendant textures in a manner most poignant. Put another way, you FEEL everything here - sorrow, hatred, nostalgia, triumph, or anywhere else your soul wants to go - and the tasteful application of mystical synths within this ripped-raw soundfield heightens those sensations to a splendorous degree. Or, compared to all those nowadays fake-raw charlatans, Zepar is capable of writing actual songs: sparse and simple, yes, but ones sublime in their subtle details.
No other words necessary: you already know whether this is for you, whether that soul reverberates across time to forgotten realms. If not, do not entry HAR SHATAN's Manum Inicere Alicui.