Ecnephias - Haereticus
10 Records LTD
Gothic/Blackened Doom-Death
7 songs (26:34)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Charles
Archive review
…And welcome back.

This is the EP sandwiched between Dominium Noctis and The Ways of Descention in Ecnephias’s discography. A word of advice: the back is adorned by what is essentially little more than a shamelessly pornographic image. So if you’re into that sort thing, go buy the jewel case version (or better- vinyl) at once! As good an argument against digital downloads as I’ve ever encountered.

But heck, as the title track trundles violently in, I am taken by surprise. Perhaps the EP format gave Ecnephias room to branch out a little, because far from the synth heavy gothic doom-death of the records immediately preceding and succeeding this one, a bludgeoning death metal onslaught clatters forth. There’s enough of the band’s trademarks in place: with Ecnephias there is no escaping those grandiose synth-string interludes and horror-soundtrack vocal moans. But still, this has a deathly, Ghast-ly weight to it that really works. Deviations is almost straight-black metal, until the intrusion of spacey sci-fi keyboard twinkling. This is an odd band. Odd, but not unlovable.

So yes, this seems to be Ecnephias at their heaviest, and if you read my Dominium Noctis review, you’ll know this is when I think they work best. Nice moments are like confectionary: the grim and doomy riffing that emerges during A Darkened Room, for instance, is a fleeting happy encouter. And talking of slowness, Hills on a Desert is marvellous, with clumping, obese riffs lovingly fattened up on a diet of lard and milkshakes.

This may be my favourite of the band’s releases, and I’m getting to know them all pretty well by now. It is heavy, with a genuine sense of groove. As ever, the slightly hammy gothic feel of much of the keyboard adornments mean it appeals in the same way as Euro-exploitation films about Satanic monks appeal. I could still manage without the synth interludes, but Ecnephias do insist on having them so who am I to argue?

Killing Songs :
Hills on a Desert, Haereticus
Charles quoted no quote
Other albums by Ecnephias that we have reviewed:
Ecnephias - Necrogod reviewed by Charles and quoted 78 / 100
Ecnephias - Inferno reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
Ecnephias - Dominium Noctis reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
Ecnephias - Ways of Descention reviewed by Charles and quoted 65 / 100
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