Sound — 10
Hellig Usvart (Holy Unblack) was recorded by Jesus freak Jayson Sherlock back in 1994. Sherlock liked the music of the classic Norweigian black metal bands, but thought the lyrical approach was to "harsh" or malicious against Christian ideals. He then created Horde. A Christian black metal band. He went under the alias "Anonymus" which is a play on Euronymus from Mayhem. As you can imagine, all this did not go down to well with Norweigian black metallers, who launched campaigns against Horde and this release. Some Christians are also against this album. Since Sherlock loved the atmosphere of black metal and the musical approach, the music on Hellig Usvart is very similar to classic lo-fi Norweigian black metal. Darkthrone, old Immortal, and Burzum seem to be an influence. Although the guitar work is usually very simple, it is sometimes very catchy. "Thine Hour Hast Come" is a prime example of this. The drum work on this CD is way above average for any band, let alone a black metal band. The bass is average and does its job. It has one or two solos. Sherlock played all of the instruments on Hellig Usvart and produced the album, which I find to be very impressive.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on Hellig Usvart are very Christian either indirectly or directly. Even though the lyrics are somewhat cheesy every now and then, they still work. Some people think that the Chrisian words do not go with the melancholy, atmospheric music. I am not one of them. The lyrics focus on more of a "destructive" or "dark" approach to Christianity, such as armageddon, destroying a place where satanic rituals are held, and crushing pentagrams. Sherlock gives a pretty cool vocal delivery on this album. He preforms more of a high pitched shriek.
Overall Impression — 10
Like it or not, this album is a very important album in the history of both extreme music and Christian music. This was something new. It was innovating. I find it somewhat funny that this album created more controversy than any other "true" black metal band has or ever will. I would say that "Thine Houe Hast Come," "Invert the Inverted Cross," and "An Abandoned Grave Bathes Softly In The Falling Moonlight" are my favorite songs. If you are into Chrisitan music or not, I would highly recommend this album.