Hecate Enthroned – Dark Requiems…

Hecate Enthroned are a melodic black metal band that sound a lot like earlier Cradle Of Filth (though to their credit they don’t sound nearly as much like Cradle Of Filth as people say they do) and this is pretty much the entirety of their personality.  The band has never made even the most remote attempt to establish a sound of their own, apart from moving through different eras of Cradle Of Filth’s sound.  Saying all this is a bit hard on them, because if you really break down the melodic structures and instrumentation, Hecate Enthroned aren’t THAT much like Cradle Of Filth, but the style they’ve chosen to play pretty much damns them to such comparisons for the rest of their collective career.

Hecate Enthroned plays a similar style of gothic black metal as early Cradle Of Filth, and they employ almost exactly the same vocal styles (high shrieks and low narrative growls), the same high usage of keys, and somewhat similar riffing styles.  It adds up against them pretty quickly.  What Hecate Enthroned does have is a more purely black metal style structurally, particularly in the riffing department, which is more influenced by Emperor than it is Iron Maiden.  There aren’t AS many cloyingly gothic portions (though they’re certainly there), and the whole ‘gothic’ edge is really more flavoring than it is an intergal part of the music.

‘Dark Requiems…’ isn’t bad.  But it is relatively shallow.  I’ve had the album for a few years now and given it numerous listens, but still the only parts that I can really remember are when the CD skips.  Probably not the best sign of quality songwriting.  I can identify some songs as being better than others; ‘Forever In Ebony Drowning’, ‘Thy Sorrow Bequeathed’, etc. but I can’t actually remember WHY they’re better than the others.  It’s just a matter of incrementally better songwriting, I guess.  There’s just very little going on in this album, and what is going on is stuff that you’ve heard before a lot.  There’s tremolo riffing in the early Cradle Of Filth vein, lots of swooping, ‘majestic’ (but not really) keyboards that never go away, and really clumsy drumming, but none of those elements ever craft anything particularly memorable or even worth remembering.

I’m not sure what to say about this album simply because it doesn’t have much content.  Or at least that what content is there is entirely unremarkable.  It can’t keep my attention span to the end of a riff, much less a song, and even less the entire album, so while it doesn’t OFFEND me, it’s pretty static and lacking in general.  I don’t see a point to this album.  You’d really only want this if you’re a massive Hecate Enthroned fan (there are some, amazingly; I’ve met them) or feel like getting a copy of every mediocre melodic black metal album ever made.  Apart from that though, this is lacking in purpose.

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~ by noktorn on February 2, 2008.

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