A little journey back to the roots of Norway's GEHENNA leads you to "First Spell" an interesting E.P. much unlike their newer Death Metal style shown on the "Murder" album. Here GEHENNA showcase Gothic influences symphonic Black Metal which has beauty in its soft raspy atmosphere. The slow/mid tempo of the tracks is welcome to my ears in the mood I'm in.
The guitars may be a little underproduced for my tastes here but they are executed well. The keyboards a used subtly which to me is a good thing fitting perfectly with the evolving ambience throughout this release. GEHENNA chose to use a raspy styled vocal with works to great effect with the style of this release much better than growling or the Black Metal "shriek" would have.
Although I love "Murder" I try to think of the different styles of GEHENNA as two separate bands because they are so different and impossible to compare. I must however state that it is in this style of sombre symphonic Black Metal that GEHENNA are truly at their best. I love this E.P. An excellent first release. (Online November 20, 2002)