A Hymn to Disappointment is not a disappointment at all. There are no frills to this, no filler, and there are no other genres mixed in either. Negative Mantra play black metal like the black metal of old. The only difference between the black metal of old, and Negative Mantra is the fact that you can tell that A Hymn to Disappointment wasn’t recorded on just one single device. The production is much better than the black metal of twenty years ago of course. Other than that, they play in the traditional sense.
A Hymn to Disppointment is three tracks of freezing, bleak black metal. Each song melts right in to the next letting the blackness and bleakness flow over you like poison fog. Negative Mantra isn’t without its melodic moments however. Not every song is blisteringly fast and bone jarring. Each song is long enough to give you a variety of melody as well as a complete metallic onslaught.
A Hymn to Disappointment starts the album with the title track. The title track begins with a soothing piano and spoken word intro, that transitions smoothly into the harder, heavier double bass, and down tuned guitars. Three minutes into the song, it morphs into a full on battering ram of cold black metal.
After the soft intro into A Hymn to Disappointment, the album doesn’t let up one bit. Negative Mantra dwell in the realm of chaos, choking you with the the harsh tremolo picking, pin point drumming, and vocals that stab through your soul like a hot iron. They make you feel as cold and isolated as black metal should. The music dances around your head like little demons whispering sweet, yet hellish nothings in your ears.
Negative Mantra has put forth a worthy black metal offering. Is it possible that the forefathers of black metal may be passing the torch, and that all good black metal does not have to come from Norway or Sweden or even Iceland? If so I believe that the blackened torch is in good hands.