Don't be surprised that you have never heard of this band, as GOVANON are an extremely underground, possibly defunct band from Brazil. As this was their only proper release and there has as yet been no follow-up and no updates to their webpage since last year, I suspect they may be no more and that's a shame.
GOVANON (named for the ancient Celtic smith-god) play a brand of melodic Black Metal that is not as fast and raw as the MAYHEM school of blastorama but nowhere near as fruity as more 'mainstream' BM bands. They have a keyboard player, but I don't hear him doing much and this is very guitar-driven. That's a good thing, as the guitarwork, especially the riffing, is really cool. GOVANON never play fast just to do it and there is a lot of variation and dynamic to this stuff. The production is a little rough, but better than average and clear enough that you can hear the cool riffs and melodies. Even the long cuts like the title song and the epic monster "Inferni" never get dull or repetitive. Songs like "Immortal Warriors" and "God Of The Tyrants" are first-rate cuts of speedy evil.
The vocals of Malleus Infernus are a bit of a sticking point for me, as they are so raspy they're almost campy. Here and there he unsheaths a meaner roar which I like much better, pity he didn't use it more often. This is an enormously entertaining album and once you push play you don't want to stop it, because you want to hear what they're going to do next and after that and after that…
The cover art of a crucified Jesus being eaten by a giant snake is pretty damned cool and the general art design is good enough I can forgive the rather silly band pictures and the garbled lyrics. English is obviously not the first language here. Hell, these guys are so 'tr00' they even spelled Cthulhu wrong. From the monochrome green look of the booklet and their overall sound, it's pretty plain that GOVANON are really into EMPEROR. While they are not quite that good, I'd take this CD over any SATYRICON or DIMMU BORGIR disc in a heartbeat. Highly recommended if you can find it. (Online January 1, 2004)