Review: “Triduum” by Hieros

Multi instrumentalist Patrick Kern is known for his work in solo project Unnamed Land, for creating Black Metal of the epic and grand variety from Akron Ohio. 2018’s “Between The Winds” offered much in a Spaghetti Western theme but now Kern has returned with a new project Hieros, born of a desire to write aggressive and riff-driven high-tempo Black Metal. The artwork was created by Mudhut Illustration, a well-known artist for psychedelic interpretations of biblical stories with the aim of creating a visual representation for the stories within the folds of the EP…

…”Triduum” is a story in three parts, lyrically exploring concepts of metaphysics and spiritualism, which isn’t something you’d usually expect from Black Metal but then this isn’t your usual cup of coffee. As the first chapter “I” beings, the blast beat onslaught and ferocious vocals are as dark and as atmospheric as they come while being on the melodic side rather than the raw, thanks to a decent production value and solid mixing. But then the surprises start to appear with breakouts into Sludge and Doom Metal riffs that throw a cat among the pigeons. They’re tastefully constructed nuances which cut the relentlessness that can be oppressing in longer Black Metal instrumental sections and offer a chink of light through black clouds. The purists should turn away now because they aren’t going to like it. The opening riff of “II” isn’t recognisable as Black Metal until the caustic vocals appear and it’s only when the the first verse completes that Melodic Black Metal familiarity returns. So what is Hieros? Well on this evidence you could argue that Hieros a gateway project that Metal fans will listen to and find themselves getting futher into Black Metal from. It has all the hallmarks of Black Metal, all the engaging atmospheric perfection, the cinematic grandeur of pure evil and the demonic possession vocals, but it also has accessiblity. For all the headbanging and bleak soundscapes there is a unique balance with the confines of the project and “III” is as fine an example as of the other two tracks. The post first verse Melodic Doom inspired riffs act as a breathing space before the venomous, blood spitting vocals return. Elongated instrumentals allow for a fine flow between different styles before cutting back to those roots and the overall mix is an intriguing one. It would be interesting to see how this blend would work over a full length album [7/10]

Track listing

  1. I
  2. II
  3. III

Triduum” by Hieros is out 3rd July via Mourning Light Records and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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