Published Mar 10, 2014The black metal that emerges from Portland, OR generally fits smoothly into the Cascadian black metal movement pioneered by bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, or adopts the shivering, folk and doom influenced structures favoured by groups like Agalloch. Shroud of the Heretic, however, are something else entirely, a rank and shambling beast emerging not from lush forests but raw and unforgiving stone.
Their full-length debut, Revelations in Alchemy, takes the feverish, fetid sound that they established on the 2012 demo Boiled to Death and twist it further, resulting in a record that stinks and smokes, seeming to give off its own sickly light. The heavily distorted guitar tone has the dry, crackling edge of charcoal, and the vocals have a similarly burnt-out hollowness. While the opening track "The Arrival" begins with the sound of rainfall, the overall feel of the record is one of dehydration.
A desperate, clawing and filthy effort, Revelations in Alchemy is a promising beginning for these necromancers. (Blood Harvest)