Review: Hegeroth “Sacra Doctrina”

Review: Hegeroth “Sacra Doctrina”

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Polish melodic black metal band Hegeroth from Silesia has returned with brand new record Sacra Doctrina which was released independently earlier this year. They continue to explore the boundaries of melodic black with enthusiastic spirit and attentive imagination. And it seems like Hegeroth are quite satisfied within the realm of this limited musical direction.

Two years have passed, and Hegeroth once again presented another full-length album, making it number four in their 12-year career. Still, with strong beliefs, imperfect sound and primitive steadiness, these Poles have managed to create something enjoyable and decent. Not very creative or overly optimistic, but rather straightforward and with a big respect for classic black metal, Sacra Doctrina fits into typical melodic black catalogue, never spoiling its characteristic traits with unexpected moves or troublesome experimentations. And what’s surprising… this album sounds relatively fresh and trendy even at the present time. Hence, there isn’t just blind following the laws of black metal’s purity.

In truth, there is a lot of death metal as well, but it’s not typical Polish black/death metal, death metal elements rather simplify the structural patterns. It’s also full of raw and harsh brutality, which is well hidden under all the melodic layers. The level of darkness and mystic atmosphere is also quite low on the latest opus of this productive trio, giving way to more direct and primeval lines. The melodies aren’t overpoweringly catchy, the rhythm balances mostly on a medium scale (only accelerating when blast beats enter the scene), and there is never a hint of progressivity.

The most black/deathish song is the first “In Torment – Part 1”, and it’s also non-melodic comparing to other compositions. The screams in “From Nothingness” bestow the most emotional impact, adorning it with more diverse feelings and expressive moods. Something thrashy and dark is going on “With Devotion”, when nonaggressive song becomes the gloomiest and the heaviest. The last song “In Torment – Part 1 / W udręce – część 1” is the replica of the first one, but with Polish lyrics, and it sounds significantly messier, overdriving the general sound in an almost unbearable manner. Maybe there are not enough erratic fluctuations to consider this record chaotic and irretrievably crude, but also melodic lines and harmonic patterns are wasted due to these sound flaws. Maybe it was their idea and a part of the conception, just to emphasize the significance of historical sound of old school black metal.

The symbolical and wintry artwork doesn’t reflect the main themes of this album, when you listen to it for the first time. But then, after some time you realize that under the primitive and shallow shell can be glimpsed some traces of another layers. It’s not like there are brilliant gems among the pitfalls, but if you are ready to dig deeper, Hegeroth can pleasantly surprise you.

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About the author

I am into metal music from the school times, started from traditional genres, and now exploring the experimental scene. I'm also interested in modern architecture and contemporary art.

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