Shroud Of The Heretic: Revelations In Alchemy

Occult death metal clan sticks to the bloody basics

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If there’s any sort of dark, unholy and/or nefarious gathering where candlelight casts soft glow shadows of sinister warmth over hooded robe-clad attendees, there’s a good chance Shroud Of The Heretic is spinning in the background.

Their raw, under-produced, rudimentary death-metal-on-the-edge-of-collapse is the suitable, if not perfect, musical accompaniment for activities including, but not limited to, black masses, Satanic rituals, séances, wart-nosed witches boiling children in cauldrons, jacket patch-sewing circles… all that good stuff. This unholy trio keep things violently basic, yet teetering on a bizarre precipice of near-ambient minimalism.

Here, they sound most threatening when yanking on the emergency brake and lurching into a sloth-like crawl reminiscent of Disembowelment and the Paradise Lost and Cathedral demos. When contrasted with some of their all-things-flailing uptempo moments (Illuminism, The Arrival), the feel becomes akin to bloody chainsaws hacking their way through a stack of Hellhammer albums. Which, your bleeding ears and scraped knuckles aside, sounds like a dastardly good time.