World War I provided the impetus for the theme of despair on A Hill To Die Upon's third black metal masterpiece. Plastic surgery was discovered because of inhumane wounds inflicted upon soldiers and civilians. Eyelids burned off require the doctor to pull skin from the patient's uninjured areas and grafts it like a bandit's mask onto the face. Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome forever haunts these victims. Search videos of victims of WW I 'shell shock, wounds, and war.' Try to understand what they went through. See how meaningless and unnecessary the Great War was. More than 1.5 million died in the Battle of the Somme alone. Two literary giants (C.S. Lewis & J.R.R Tolkien) survived, but who did we lose? Holy Despair was released in 2014, exactly one hundred years after the beginning of the 'war to end all wars.' Nekyia is a Greek ritual sacrifice performed to call forth spirits from the Underworld so that the living may communicate with them (see Homer's Odyssey). When performing Nekyia, one had to dig a pit and pour in the blood of a black ram. The ghosts would smell the blood and come to drink. Once your ghost drank the blood, you could ask whatever questions you had and converse with the dead. Nekyia seemed like the perfect metaphor for the trenches of World War I. Pits were dug and blood was poured into the fruitless soil. Holy Despair showcases extravagant lyrical depth and musical brutality to reach deep into the soul of the humanity and boldly call out grave injustice and senseless human suffering. Join A Hill To Die Upon in being impacted with reverent Holy Despair. God desires so much more for humanity. We should too. For fans of the blackened death metal of Behemoth, 1349, and Dimmuborgir! TRACKS I. Cloven Hoof Hava Nagila II. A Jester Arrayed in Burning Gold III. Unyielding Anguish IV. Let the Ravens Have My Eyes V. Hæðen VI. Nekyia VII. Somme VIII. Rime (Jerub-Ba'al) IX. O Death X. Satan Speaks.
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