Hecate Enthroned - _Redimus_
by: Quentin Kalis (
Keyboard laden pomposity, revelling in overwrought and tired lyrics defined Hecate Enthroned's early output. Comparisons with Cradle of Filth were all too easy -- even without reference to founding member Jon Richards' days in Cradle. They underwent a major metamorphosis on 1999's _Kings of Chaos_, shifting towards death metal but retaining their debatably black metal roots.Hecate Enthroned wisely realised this new direction was infinitely more interesting than exploring exhausted vampiric pretensions and have retained this sound for the aptly named _Redimus_. While I didn't expect a metamorphosis of Ulverian proportions, I didn't expect to hear a sound pretty much unaltered since _KoC_ either -- in fact it would come as no surprise if some of the material on offer originated from the same recording session. This is extremely surprising given the five year gap between these albums. Even bands such as Darkthrone and Marduk -- none of whom are known for their experimental tendencies -- display a greater degree of progression between any two consecutive albums than Hecate Enthroned.In comparison to their earlier work, keyboards are now in a subordinate role and are infrequently used. However, when they are utilised their role is to complement the songs rather than direct and dominate. To compensate for the diminished import of the keyboards, the guitars have a more powerful and direct sound, aided by improved production. The vocal style consists largely of an undistinguished growl and a generic higher pitched screech of the kind utilised by many death metal vocalists -- which does the job, but nothing more.There are some memorable moments and this album is infinitely better than the abortive _The Slaughter of Innocence_, but it appears as if Hecate Enthroned only had one good idea; one that is perilously close to exhaustion.
(article published 12/13/2004)
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