So at the moment it seems that if you want to taken seriously as a black/death metal sensation you need to tick a few boxes. Blasphemous? Check. Polish? Check. Purveyors of brutality and savagery? CHECK! Heretique are the latest in a long line of Eastern European destroyers, and they follow in the bloodstained footsteps of Behemoth, Azarath and Vader quite capably. It’s out now via Polish label Via Nocturna.
The Eastern acoustics of ‘Chimera (Preludium)’ are a false start, building a little menace before the bulldozing ‘Sweet Stench of Rotting Flesh’ grinds through, crushing those who dare stand in its wake. The Vader worship is obvious, especially in the guttural bellows of Stryzga, but there are some badass melodic leads that burst from the gloom, especially in the killer solo. It in no way detracts from the assault, just provides a pleasant surprise.
The eerie title track has these dark, spoken word sections that remind you almost of Morbid Angel’s ‘God of Emptiness’ in parts. ‘Dying in Hate’ is a steamrolling exercise in precise brutality. Heretique, thankfully, have not decided to coat their black/death in a miasmic production that stifles the actual music behind a wall of murk. It is clear, concise, and precision savagery, and it makes it all the better. Remember how awesome ‘Evangelion’ was when it first came out, and it was clear as a bell? Take note black/death metallers, not all your releases need to sound like they were recorded in a swamp.
‘De Non Existentia Dei’ is a fluid, adventurous album, that flits from delicate acoustic moments (‘Following Through’ and the start of the succeeding ‘Dimension’) to crushing, muscular death metal destruction (the frankly heavy as fuck ‘Unknown Whispers’, or the rumbling ‘Czarna polewka’). While not as grandiose as Behemoth, nor as relentless as Vader, Heretique combine them both to create a good album that is worth investing in. Crush, kill destroy!