Poland over the years has become the hub for quality death metal which often features influences from black metal. Heretique is no exception to that rule and with ‘De Non Existentia Dei’, the audience get blackened death metal that does not hesitate to show off a few frills. The take on the style is quite modern and the band manages to maintain a level of dark intensity throughout the record. This combination makes the album a highly enjoyable affair and one that does not compromise on any of the core black metal or death metal values to achieve that enjoyability.
Heretique set things in motion with a short intro, following which Sweet Stench of Rotting Human Flesh showcases the band’s ability to write a mean sounding blackened death metal track. The riffs are punchy and vicious, evoking the likes of early Behemoth. Amidst all the grim darkness that is characterized by the music, Heretique add a few melodic flourishes and tastefully done solos. These elements are added in measured quantities so as to not be overwhelming. This also works well with the tight groove which the music often sports.
These melodic overtones add an extra dimension to the music, especially on tracks like Dimension, Dying in Hate etc. Heretique’s ability to balance out these melodic element with the equally barbaric sounding blackened death riffs is perhaps what sets them apart from the rest. Even the production on the record, proves the point that a black / death metal record need not necessarily sound too obscure and inaccessible to be considered a good album. The mixing on this record makes every element in the mix clearly audible and some might even call it a bit polished. The song writing justifies this production with its small intricate technicalities in the riffs and melodic solos.
This album is a nice example to the old adage, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. Heretique’s formula is not necessarily ground breaking and many bands in the past have featured this style of blackened death metal with added technicality and melody. But that fact does not make these songs any less fun. The guitar riffs manage to keep the listener hooked, the snarls sound vile and the melodic elements bring a level of sophistication to the tracks. If innovation is not what you look for in your music and just want to have a good time listening to some enjoyable track, then ‘De Non Existenia Dei’ is an album I’d highly recommend. It’s fun, addictive and a well done piece of blackened death metal.