SANCTUS HEXE –“The Abyss of Ancient Forest”

Poland,Blackteammedia Records

I’ve been to witness Christ Agony once again in Bucharest last night and also met their sound engineer and old time pal Michal from the brutals of Feto In Fetus at the show. He used the opportunity to pass me both releases of his new band, Sanctus Hexe, a black metal one this time, thanks. I start by saying once I visited their bandcamp profile I stressed on the word ritual in the genre description and got sick of it once again by this new trend of presenting your music and your show as ritual, jumping in the band wagon following Watain, Batushka and ultimately Dissection. But what it was meant to scare back then, it was transformed in a sick kind of paradise circus, especially doing the live performances nowadays. Luckily what we have here on the record is mainly good old black metal with a generous portion of melody and atmospheric slow tempo passages quite post-rock infused. There are nine songs, including two instrumentals, fortunately these two are short, since it’s just too much of atmosphere by acoustic guitars and no metal at all in there. The rest of it is a totally enjoyable trip between mainly slow and middle tempo black metal tunes, I admit some of the harmonies are grandiose and even noticed some awesome simple cello lines that complete the whole atmosphere in “The Ritual of Resurrection”, while the straight forward keyboard lines and clean choral male singing (with Cezar of Christ Agony as a guest singer) catches the ear. There is a lot of typical Scandinavian melodic black metal as well, two bands crossing my mind immediately being Tartaros and Diabolical Masquerade. Lyric-wise, the subjects are benign, dealing with deep forests, witches and most probably a certain atavistic mysticism, kinda liked that, since it was always better to focus on the music first. Of course the production is good, like any other Polish band with a little bit of respect for themselves, actually I don’t remember when I’ve checked a band from Poland with a bad production lately. The sound is warm and clear, you can hear every instrument pretty well and in its place and, most important of all, the atmospheric passages mix the keyboards and synths in the back of the guitar lines to not cut from the inner aggressiveness. I would say it’s more than fair for a debut, released just one month ago in standard jewel format with a beautiful black and white generous 16 pages booklet including the lyrics. As a lucky bastard I am, I’ve also got their very first release, a promo including only one song and limited to 100 copies, but don’t worry, since the track is also included as the final tune on the album presented here. My dear friends from Din Intunerec who let me publish in their pages would like to also rate the record on production, lyrics and artwork, but I think I’ve said it all above on these topics, so I’d rather include the band contacts where you can check the music for yourself:

Coro – Buldozer Magazine via Din Intunerec.

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