Total Holocaust Records, 2005
Genre: Black Metal
1. Civitate Dei - Ondskans Hov
2. Deus Absconditus
3. Efter Sjalens Stympning
Here is the first release from the Swedish band Heresi. I remember when this came out that this project sort of got overlooked by a lot of listeners. The fact that this only had three tracks and wasn't a full length probably didn't help matters for Heresi. The more major reason is that people were already listening to a lot of bands that sounded similar to this. Sweden had projects like Ondskapt and Mortuus. Norma Evengaelium Diaboli was re-releasing a lot of long lost material at the same time this came out and I feel like that also contributed to this band falling into the background of the Black Metal world. Frankly I don't hear anyone talk about this band and I think that is quite a shame.
From the name dropping above, I gather you can figure out what this band sounds like. It really is in that slower paced ultra dark sounding Black Metal. Sure there are fast sections where necessary, but Heresi is all about creating that incredibly sinister atmosphere that is quite common for it's release time. So Heresi isn't really doing anything different or new, but I will point out that Heresi is quite good at what they do. One reason why I think this should stand out a little more is that "Civitate Dei - Ondskans Hov" opens with one of the most well written riffs in the history of Black Metal. I am absolutely not joking about this, the opening riff for this album and the song that follows is everything you could ever want out of that style. I'm honestly surprised bands on Ondskapts level never thought of it.
What lends more to Heresi's issues is the other two songs. After you open with something that strong there's nothing you can do with the album. Skamfer should have closed the album with this song, because the other two songs simply don't live up to such high expectations. Then again, very little could. The other two tracks on their own terms are pretty good, but they don't stand out nearly as much. I think this is why Heresi isn't talked about nearly as much as they should be.
The production is very good on this first recording. Like a lot of the other bands they have a very dark and organic atmosphere. The drums aren't triggered and the vocals have a heavy dose of reverb to give it that cavernous feel. This is expertly recorded Black Metal, as far as I'm concerned and I really wish this kind of production was the norm in the genre. The packaging on the other hand is a little weird. There's this whole seperate sheet of paper with the band log on it and under that is the "booklet." I use that term booklet pretty loosely here, it's literally just two pages folded together. Making it even more perplexing as to why they'd include this "cover sheet" thing. It's printed on textured paper and it's a very cool element for the album.
In the end I really consider this a must listen. Everyone into Black Metal should hear the first song. Everyone! There are no exceptions to this. Thus I clearly close with "Civitate Dei - Ondskans Hov"!