Heretic Cult Redeemer- Heretic Cult Redeemer

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Iron Bonehead seems to be pulling bands out of thin air lately, as in the past few months they have released several debut EPs and albums from groups that came out of nowhere but featured seasoned veterans in their ranks. Greece’s Heretic Cult Redeemer is another of these acts, as they are releasing their self-titled debut full length in early September and feature members that have been in Acrimonious, Necrovorous, and Embrace of Thorns. Seeing as these are well established bands, perhaps that’s why it isn’t that surprising that Heretic Cult Redeemer has been able to put together black metal that boasts polished production values far removed from your average newcomer and attempts fairly ambitious ideas. There’s a lot to take in on each of the seven tracks, and while I did feel like the group didn’t fully hit their stride until about halfway in they have already achieved quite a bit with this debut.

Throughout this album the instrumentalists weave their way through the traditional mix of faster blasting and slower atmospheric sections, but it is done in a way that doesn’t feel like a mere derivative of the tried and true black metal style. Heretic Cult Redeemer goes for a more spacious sound that lets the walls of sound expand outwards and form dense layers that swarm around the listener, while still allowing the nuances to be easy to pick out. It’s clear that the group has ambition, as there are quite a few tracks that span into the six to nine minute range and are oriented towards sprawling melodic sections that lead into all out assaults. This direction works quite well, and I did find that the instrumental work managed to offer enough changes to avoid falling into repetition or feeling dragged out. However, it wasn’t until the fourth track “Concatenation” that the material really stuck with me. Starting with this piece the guitar leads add in even more dissonance and ebb and flow over the other instruments in a way that’s almost hypnotic. The final two songs are where the band seems to hit a peak level of atmosphere and tension, and are the main reason I’ve given Heretic Cult Redeemer’s debut so many additional listens.

Funus was the original vocalist of Acrimonious, so if you’ve heard that group’s demo or first two EPs his performance on this album should feel familiar. His pitch sticks around the lower end of the spectrum, coming across as a harsh scream/growl that sometimes breaks into some slightly cleaner ranges. It’s a style that remains consistently intense from one moment to the next but also is dynamic enough to really enhance particular moments and grab the listener’s attention. The vocals have also benefited from the spacious production which allows the various pitches to weave in and out of the wall of sound, and this continues to be an element that I’ve found really adds that extra bit of atmosphere and energy to black metal bands that choose to utilize it.

Heretic Cult Redeemer may have seemed to just appear out of thin air, but the bio that came with this release mentions that the band initially formed in 2009 and the amount of time that was spent composing this material is evident. Although I didn’t feel like the album truly reached its full potential until the last few tracks, the quality of the rest of the songs remains at a high enough level to make this band worth supporting now. Iron Bonehead deserves credit for getting this one out there, and keep your eyes on this group as it seems likely they’ll only keep getting more powerful as they forge onward.

Leave a Reply