~reviewed by Michael Johnson

Hecate Enthroned started out when bassist/vocalist Jon left his band Daemonum in 1994 to join a new black metal band named Cradle of Filth.  His stay was short, however, but the shadows that followed the shift would last for years to come.  Hecate Enthroned was extremely powerful black metal loaded with memorable riffing and a drum style I can only associate with them, but the high pitched screams emanating from Jon would cause this highly promising band to be cast aside as a Cradle of Filth wanna-be.  Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
I myself was guilty of labeling this band only a few short years ago.  I loved the songs but couldn’t get past the vocals, as I was a rabid Cradle fan as well.  Dark Requiems…And Unsilent Massacre sat quietly collecting dust.  It wasn’t long before I was talking to a friend of mine about this band (we’ll just call him Matthew) and he pointed out the enormous differences between the two and from that point on, Hecate Enthroned has been one of my favorite bands and Dark Requiems one of my all time favorite albums.
Hecate Enthroned saw a major shift in sound when vocalist Dean filled the void left by a departing Jon.  On the critically acclaimed Kings of Chaos, a more death metal approach was taken while still maintaining the unique and blackened Hecate sound.  Darkened growls replaced the screaming and a much more versatile approach to the music was taken, adding enormous amounts of power and creating many new fans.
Now, the follow-up to Kings of Chaos, Miasma, has arrived and it continues to herald the powerful songwriting of a band that is quietly (at least here in the US) one of the foremost names in black metal.  The one downer with this is that it’s only an EP.  I prayed for a full-length, desperate to hear more of the newest developments and ideas born of an extended touring hiatus.  But despite the length of this, Hecate has once again completed another process of evolution by adding harsh whispering and soaring clean vocals mixed with the traditional sounds of black, death, and thrash metal and the resulting carnage is nothing short of spectacular.  Trance-inducing mellow arrangements are met head on by the galloping drums and the wall of guitar that complete the sound of Hecate Enthroned.  “So Called Savior” is led by clean, spoken word, whispers, and Dean’s own harsh screams. “New Day Emerges” the instrumental “Commence The Chaos”, and easily my favorite on the album, “Designed With Hate” follow in the same vein, breathing new life into my love for this type of music.  The album closes with “Silenced But For Their Cries” but after a short silent stretch, I was treated to a cover of one of my favorite Venom songs, “Buried Alive”.

   "The morning mist beckons
    It calls out my name
    The morning miasma
    Leaving all slain
    It raped all their virtues
    It raped all their hopes
    Destroyed all their dreams
    Destroyed all that's false"

Miasma is a sign of great things to come from this band.  I can only hope that the full length is not far behind because, even as great as they were years ago, this band just keeps getting better.  I strongly urge black metal fans that have never heard Hecate Enthroned to get off your ass right now and go get one.  They can be tough to find at times, but a little resourcefulness will go a long way.

Track Listing
1.So Called Savior
2.New Day Emerges
3.Commence The Chaos
4.Designed With Hate
5.Silenced But For Their Cries
6.Buried Alive

Hecate Enthroned Is
Dean – Vocals
Nigel – Guitars
Andy – Guitars
Rob – Drums
Dylan – Bass
Daz – Keys

Official Website: www.hecate-enthroned.co.uk
Email: deanicide@hotmail.com

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