Hic Iacet- Prophecy of Doom

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, February 8, 2013

Hells Headbangers puts out a lot of cool vinyl releases, and one of the best parts about this is it lets listeners discover new metal bands without committing to a full length worth of material. The label has found a ton of black/death metal combinations over the last few years, and one of their latest discoveries is the mysterious Spanish group Hic Iacet. They put out a well-received demo in 2011 and the Prophecy of Doom EP last November which offers two new tracks. Although the material doesn’t quite stand out as much as some of the other black/death metal Hells Headbangers has put out recently it still hints at plenty of potential and should still put Hic Iacet on a lot of people’s radar.

The two songs on Prophecy of Doom span close to 11 minutes total, and this gives the instrumentalists plenty of time to expand their cavernous riffs. Although Hic Iacet isn’t quite as noisy as some of their peers they still manage to conjure up a very heavy and deep sound that reverberates as the songs move forward. This should instantly feel familiar to anyone that has followed black/death metal over the years, but where this group feels a bit different is in their shift towards black metal. While the song structures still retain plenty of death metal, the guitar tone throughout the two tracks is a bit higher and has some of the colder atmosphere of black metal. Out of the two songs I thought that “Elevation of Sun” stood out a bit more as it had more prominent slow sections and wasn’t just blasting the entire time. While neither of the tracks made as permanent of an impression on me as some of the other recent genre releases, the slower breaks suggest that the group has the ability to write songs outside of the normal blasting template.

Black/death metal has the tendency to focus more on the overall sound than let the vocals take the spotlight, and this is the case on Prophecy of Doom. Hic Iacet’s singer has a lower pitched growl/scream that is often at the same volume as the instrumentals and echoes along with them in order to create a fuller soundscape. Every so often these pitches will break free of the layers of sound and hit listeners with an immense amount of force but for the most part they remain just another element of the overall intensity rather than being the focus. It’s unclear just who is a part of this band, but the vocals are clearly done by someone who understands this type of murky material quite well.

Although I would recommend recent releases by bands like Muknal over Hic Iacet, the potential showcased on Prophecy of Doom suggests that with a bit more growth in songwriting this group could move further than many of their peers. The two tracks on this EP still have the type of cavernous sound that black/death metal does so well though, and if you’re a fan of Hells Headbangers 7-inch releases this is still worth checking out. I’ll be watching to see when this group resurfaces, as it seems possible their next effort could take them to the top of the pack.

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com

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