Cedric : Over the years Greece has made quite a good reputation for itself when it comes to extreme metal, especially within the black metal genre. With bands such as Rotting Christ, Varathron and Macabre Omen, the land of the sirtaki already proved to the world to have spawned some powerful and unique-sounding metalbands. Greek bands are each year gaining in popularity, and judging by this release this will also be the case for Heretic Cult Redeemer, possible positioning them as a known name amongst fans of the genre.
Following a first, self-titled, album released in 2013, the band is now ready to present us its sophomore record. ‘Kelevsma’ is an overall dark-sounding record and I must admit that I was feeling somewhat unsure what to think of it after a first spin. The more I started to listen to the album, the more all different layers in the music started to present themselves and all elements started to be falling into their place. Heretic Cult Redeemer mostly takes its unique sound from the big, dissonant compositions that take the listeners onto a trip in an all-destroying tornado, but also regularly tend to mezmerise and transcend into hypnotic vibes.
The more atmospheric parts of the music could somewhat be compared to bands like Rotting Christ or even Urfaust for example, but whenever the music really unleashes its inner demons there is a vibe in the songs that reminds me of the band Portal. The sick atmospheres are completed with ritualistic-feeling elements and are so creating that hypnotic vibe, beautifully adding to the many heavy-sounding layers of the music. Also the vocals are definately adding to the diversity and brutality on the record. Funus (ex-Acrimonium, ex-Acherontas) uses its vocals in a slightly different approach than we are used to in this genre. His vocal-style is darker, lower and more hoarse-sounding than your typical black metal screams. He also dares to take some risks and at times incorporates avantgarde-sounding semi clean vocals in the songs. Technically those are not his strongest moments, sometimes even balancing on the edge of going off-key, but it never really bothered me. To be honest, it even fitted the overall dissonant sound of the album pretty well.
Fans of the more classic black metal style will probably find ‘Kelevsma’ to be less their cup of tea, but those of you who are into that whole Helenic scene will have plenty to discover on the album. ‘Kelevsma’ absolutely demands some effort and time of the listener before completely displaying its grandeur, but Heretic Cult Redeemer’s music is without a doubt worth the effort.