Release DetailsLABEL Blackend
RELEASED ON 9/7/2004
posted on 10/2004 By:
Redimus, Latin for "we have returned," marks the end of a five year hiatus between full lengths for England's Hecate Enthroned. Having spent a large majority of their career in the lengthy shadow of that other black metal band from Great Britain, the last two Hecate Enthroned releases, King's of Chaos and the Miasma E.P., have witnessed this band distance itself from their countrymen and move in a slightly more death metal direction, due mainly to the guttural approach of vocalist Dean Seddan. Redimus continues the effort of prior releases to divorce Hecate Enthroned from its peers, and in many ways their solidification as a distinct entity is almost complete. However, this album is not without its blemishes, and shows that this band still has to take certain steps beyond eradicating Cradle of Filth comparisons to truly capture the attention of discerning metal audiences.
Beginning with the obligatory gothic intro, the first real track on Redimus is the thrashy "Soil of Sin." Featuring what is probably the album's most intense riff work and most tasteful use of keyboards, this track was a great choice for an opener. Unfortunately the series of tracks that follow fall far below the lofty precedent set by "Soil of Sin." "Headhunter" displays some interesting interplay between a melodic riff and casual drum syncopation, but it is mostly bogged down by its lethargic pace. It also casts the keyboards in a far too prevalent role, a trend that continues throughout the rest of the album. As a result many of the guitar riffs are drowned in the keyboard orchestration that mostly falls just short of epic and lands unceremoniously in the realm of amateurish. That's not to say that the riffs themselves are so incredible that if given a greater chance to shine they would have saved this album from its pervasive mediocrity. "No One Hears" and "As Fire" are driven by guitar parts that have seen more than their fair shair of circulation.
To their credit, Hecate Enthroned does break out of the mid-album slump with the beautiful acoustic guitar track "Morbecca." As the album's most simply arranged track, it is also the most atmospheric. The title track follows and is memorable due mostly to the appearance of some well delivered clean vocals and a driving chorus. Deviations from their normal approach such as these are easily the highlights of this album. Hecate Enthroned's standard attack is competent, but for the most part it is mired in uninspired ideas and failed attempts at creating dark atmosphere. The final tracks reinforce the album's overall tedium, and slip by almost unnoticed.
It's been ten years in the business for Hecate Enthroned. Having met with a great deal of indifference and criticism from the press and an almost constantly shifting lineup, the band has still managed to persevere. For that, I commend them. However, for the most part the criticism has been warranted. Granted, they have made a concerted effort to establish themselves as their own band and not just a cheap imitation, but that does not necessarily mean that they have produced a product that is worth your money. Redimus is an extremely pedestrian album that while adequately performed and produced is almost devoid of engaging ideas. As mentioned there are a few flashes of inspiration on this album, that if given more attention on future releases might result in the band one day creating something noteworthy. For now, I can only suggest that metal audiences wait for that day to come.
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