Release DetailsLABEL Total Holocaust Records
RELEASED ON 4/1/2005
posted on 5/2005 By:
Hot on the heels of the sublime Hell Militia record comes the debut effort of their rather like-minded labelmates, Sweden’s rather enigmatic Heresi. Instead of the post Peaceville Darkthrone revisionism favored by Sweden’s most en vogue underground outfits, Heresi seem to have opted for something that is more inclined towards De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ more aggressive passages (in turn being on the opposite extreme of say, Shining and Ondskapt) Pure Holocaust era Immortal and shades of earlier Satyricon. Nothing revelatory, then, or particularly interesting, but still solid enough to warrant a recommendation for fans of Nordic frigidity.
The keyword here is songwriting, which is of a uniformly excellent quality throughout the duration of this three song EP. Much like Hell Militia, Heresi are quite blatantly derivative of their influences, but manage to varnish the glaring obviousness of their pilfering with consistently engaging melodies and deftly wound, watertight structures. The mix is oriented around the trebly, high-register guitar lines, with intricate, worryingly entrancing melodies navigating us through the seedy underbelly of spite and loathing. Parallels to Satyr’s once-mighty, now-farcical outfit are quite striking, particularly in the quasi-medieval, pseudo-folky melodicism and lofty, cavernous feel of the production, drum notes echoing and sustaining in the distance while Skamfer’s vocals appear to be emanating from some faraway chamber.
Similarities also surface in the band's affinity for dynamism - while Psalm I does not attempt to replicate the range of folk instruments displayed on Dark Medieval Times or truly emulate the despairing void of Pure Holocaust, there is the same inclination towards deliberate, nefarious down tempo sections wedged between despotic bursts of blastbeats, as well as the same tangential sense of melody that threatens to stumble into haphazard territory, but never strays too far, emphasizing and repeating key riffs to hypnotic effect. While some of it may seem a little too calculated for its own good when each constituent component is isolated and dissected, the sonic sum is very compelling indeed, each track evoking a genuine sense of dread on repeated listenings.
So there you have it. Slow guitars, trebly Norse melodies, blasting drums, and liberal use of fleshed-out, down tempo sections to break up the frenzied, oppressive ferocity. You’ve heard it all before, and if you are averse to hearing it again, I can find little in this release that would convince you otherwise. Admittedly, I typically abhor stuff like this, but much like Hell Militia have done, Heresi have presented a rather consummate and viscerally affecting argument as to why I should be a little less myopic sometimes. Far from essential, but still another worthy offering from an always impressive label.
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