Hiems - Worship Or Die
Moribund Cult
Black Metal
10 songs (54:28)
Release year: 2009
Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Goat

The original project of Forgotten Tomb bassist Algol, Hiems (Latin for 'winter') was actually formed back in 1996, Worship Or Die being the second full-length from the project. It's the kind of interesting, subtly catchy Black Metal that you wouldn't associate with a member of a group as dreary as Forgotten Tomb, although the intense atmospheric dirge of first track proper I is clearly from the hand of an underground musician. Not at all afraid of sonic depth or even Satyriconnesque groove throughout the album, Hiems pound a diverse yet grimacing route through Black Metal's jagged territory, seeming to take a gloomy 'god, isn't life shit' philosophy - albeit with a sinister smile. The mounting intensity in the likes of bellow-along anthem Scum Destroyer weaves a meandering path several shades of grim darker than The Age Of Nero, before W.O.F. expands a little on the atmospheric side of things over eight minutes - and keeps you interested, as well.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how good the songwriting is, seeming rather monotonous if you're not paying attention but soon revealing itself to have depths you could drop a hobbit down. Throwing in the one-minute interlude of Adventum is nigh-on genius, a wailing infant soon being drowned under the epic opening to Bringer Of Light - little touches like that over the album make it obvious that Algol is putting real thought into all this. It's the end of the album that holds the most pleasant surprises, however, an extended guitar solo on Wounds Just Death Can Heal making you sit up and take notice before Hiems charges in, a mid-paced Satyricon crawl enhanced towards the end by a wonderfully proggy 70s keyboard solo that continues on and off into 2909979. It's the last thing you'd expect to hear on an album like this, and shows quite the lighter side of Algol, especially when the last track Race With The Devil is a bit of Rock catchiness complete with clean vocals. I'll avoid the mistake of saying that all bands should be this open-minded, but it was a pleasant surprise and the icing on the top of a nice little album that whilst overall doing nothing new, does it so well that you don't mind.

Killing Songs :
I, Scum Destroyer, W.O.F, Wounds Just Death Can Heal, Hiems
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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