“True English Black Metal” is the first full-length album of the British black metal band Heathen Deity who finally released its first studio album after two decades. Having released several EP’s, demos, compilations, and a live album in the past, the Nottingham-based quintet has ripened its craft to perfection. Formed in the year 1998 by founding member Dagon (vocals, lyrics) who was joined a year later by Azrael (guitars), they added in 2016 a few members like Nihil (bass guitar), Storm (drums), and Frost (rhythm guitars). The title of the album, clearly indicates that Heathen Deity has been influenced by both the Nordic and Anglo Saxon style of black metal. Apart from the modern wave of black metal bands in the U.K. such as Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Fen and many more, the music here is akin to the second wave of black metal. While ages had passed their music evolved greatly from the initiating stages. Besides the focused songwriting skills, the band offers an impressive quality. Since formation Heathen Deity embarked on a journey to explore the roots of black metal, therefore “True English Black Metal” presents a grim and epic songwriting style.
With an aggressive overture of ferocious blast beats “Burn in Satan’s Name” sets the tone for the album. Being able to stretch their sound towards heaviness, Heathen Deity combines fast tremolo-picked riffs, blast beats, and catchy melodies. The songs rush into speed while the rhythm guitar drips with chord-laden hooks and have an incandescent intensity. While the main influence comes from Norwegian and Swedish black metal bands, the music is soaked in captivating melodic fragments. However, the fiery performance allows the melodies to shine gloriously, with the rhythm guitars providing many hooks and the lead guitars prominent throughout the album. “Condemned to Conception” is an example of how the band applies excellent tempo shifts the intensity is built on rapid riffs as the song proceeds the music ventures into slow paces.
The quintet employs various tempos ranging from unrelenting aggression to mid-tempo and acoustic passages that recall bands such as Dissection. The guitars have a flair of shedding tremolo-picked riffs and the powerful strikes of the blast beats create an immense power. The performance captures one’s attention where most of the songs take furious direction with the guitars filled with blazing tremolos. “True English Black Metal” portrays merciless aggression with the most powerful impact coming from the drums and blazing riffs. With harrowing vocals and grim melodies “The Flames of Gathering Darkness” contains majestic passages of acoustic guitars and keyboards.
“The Black Goat Infernal” is full of storming riffs and menacing speed whilst the strong guitar work cuts like a sharp splinter. Heathen Deity conveys the finest elements of the second wave of black metal, there’s definitely no doubt about the majestic sonic craft and the ostensible Nordic inspiration that courses through the song composition. Some of the tracks like “For the Nameless One – Shemhamforash” show a remarkable work from lead guitars. This song plunges deep into slower moments with beautiful melodic undercurrents surging with ominous rhythm. The muse takes a collective inspiration from the U.K. black metal bands like Hecate Enthroned and therefore the album thrives on the roots of the second wave of black metal. Heathen Deity’s song composition is quite varied, the clean guitar texture on the instrumental interlude “Beneath the Fires of Albion” will take the listener on a dream-like journey through the beautiful landscapes.
Whereas “Gut the Church” is embedded with cold chilling tremolos and violent blast beats, the evocative melodies and storming riffs show a unique ability to create awe-inspiring moments. Though the grim spectrum of the music encapsulates many melodic moments and the old school inspiration, the band has sculpted a unique style. The rich acoustic texture on “For the Glory of Satan” shows how the band likes to use lush acoustic guitars. Being the most charming element of almost every song, Heathen Deity emphasizes the acoustic guitar passages strongly.
The epic final track “The Shards of Winter” is one of their best songs on the album that balance the Scandinavian aesthetic with melodic ornamentation. “True English Black Metal” presents a high-quality style of fast and melodic black metal. The album was released on June 6th, 2021 through Cult Never Dies. This is definitely recommended for fans of Dissection, Gorgoroth, and Hecate Enthroned.
Release Date: June 6th, 2021
Label: Cult Never Dies
- The Gateway Opens
- Burn In Satan’s Name
- Condemned To Conception
- True English Black Metal
- The Flames Of The Gathering Darkness
- The Black Goat Infernal
- For The Nameless One – Shemhamforash
- Beneath The Fires Of Albion
- Gut The Church
- For The Glory Of Satan
- The Lord Of The Kneel
- The Shards Of Winter