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Heathen Deity - True English Black Metal (2021) - Review

Band: Heathen Deity
Album title: True English Black Metal
Release date: 9 June 2021
Label: Cult Never Dies
Genre: Black Metal

01. The Gateway Opens
02. Burn In Satan’s Name
03. Condemned To Conception
04. True English Black Metal
05. The Flames Of The Gathering Darkness  
06. The Black Goat Infernal
07. For The Nameless One - Shemhamforash
08. Beneath The Fires Of Albion
09. Gut The Church
10. For The Glory Of Satan
11. The Lord Of The Knell
12. The Shards Of Winter

Cult British band Heathen Deity released on 9 June its first full-length album True English Black Metal. Born out of the dark alleys of Derbyshire's true underground metal in 1998, the band has a vast repertoire of shows, including a gig with Solace Denied and Hecate Enthroned in 2000 in the heart of England, London. They released demos and EPs, one of the highly acclaimed is, For The Glory Of Satan from 2002. Heathen Deity went on a hiatus in their art after the release of Gut The Church, a 2004 live recording, and resumed her endeavour in mids 2010. The release of the Religious Purification Through Fire demo conspicuous the band's return with iron and fire.  Pervaded by a turbulent and dark atmosphere from start to finish, the shall-work is creative and original. Triumphantly back on the scene, Heathen Deity once again showed their admirable stamp in the roots of 90s black metal.

Currently, the line-up consists of Dagon (vocals), Azrael (guitars and acoustic guitars), Nihil (bass), Forst (guitars) and Storm (drums). The tracks in True English Black Metal, have been refined over time. All songs were written by Azrael in 2002 - 2004, except "For The Nameless One - Shemhamforash", written in 2016 and "True English Black Metal" from 2018. The point here is that along the time until they decided to release the album, the skills got defined more precisely and just got better. According to the own words of Azrael, "Time, blood, sweat and tears have gone into this creation."

The band's album has a refined style, precise and faithful to northern black metal. True English Black Metal, is built presented in a clear-cut and balanced way, including contemporary elements that demonstrate all the dedication and painstaking work put into each of the twelve tracks that make up True English Black Metal. The album is an epic creation. It has all that makes black metal resist through time and space. The darkness, the aggressiveness, the ancient atmosphere of England, everything applied is dazzling. For one hour and 15 minutes, we can delight in what makes us have this unique style. Our ideologies, beliefs, and our heart and soul are well represented. In a world made up of so many wannabe styles, black metal remains alive and true. Proof of this is True English Black Metal.

The Intro, "The Gateway Opens" transports you to the deep dungeon of Hell or maybe you prefer a bloody battle in the timeworn fields of "Angle-land"? Choose your dream-sphere and dive deep with Heathen Deity. "Burn In Satan's Name", takes you back to the heydays of the first wave of black metal, and the subsequent tracks, "Condemned To Conception" and "True English Black Metal", introduce you uncut to the second wave. Aggressiveness, speed and desolate coldness are the perfect tonics found here. "The Flames Of The Gathering Darkness" is more melancholy and doomed. If so far the album is foolproof, "The Black Goat Infernal" is a powerful and uncontrollable bang. You will be unable to stand still. "For The Nameless One - Shemhamforash" is passionate, with its melancholy tone, great guitar tones and strong vocals. But then, to the sound of the acoustic guitar, comes "Beneath The Fires Of Albion", all the English heritage sublimely bathes this track. The remaining tracks on the album are equally impeccable, Heathen Deity has spared no talent and love of true black metal. So it shows not only respect for the roots, but its originality, proof that some bands can and do a unique ancient black metal entirely adequate to the present times.

Without mincing words, in addition to everything good presented in terms of instrumentation, let me emphasize Dagon's vocals. Regarding extreme vocals, there is no attempt to sound like someone known. He is a great singer, has his style.

Heathen Deity's album leaves its mark forever as a style icon. True English Black Metal has a striking beauty and diversity of expression of black metal. Congratulations to all the members who made a difference with the release of this masterpiece. Hails! Forever remain Heathen Deity!

The review was written by Felin Frost
Rating: 10/10