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Heretic Cult Redeemer - Flagellum Universalis

Heretic Cult Redeemer
Flagellum Universalis
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 14 May 2023, 3:47 AM

HERETIC CULT REDEEMER is a black metal band from Greece that formed in 2009. 'Flagellum Universalis,' is their third full length album; they have also released a split album. 'Flagellum Universalis,' is definitely a black metal album that takes an unique approach from not only the famed Greek scene but of the genre as a whole.
This is definitely a riff based album. It has plenty of atmosphere but the mood is constantly changed by the very odd sounding riffs. It has definitely been a minute since I've heard black metal with so many great but strange riffs.

It certainly helps to accent these riffs in many styles, something the band does exceptionally well. Across the nine track 58 minute run time, the album incorporates dissonance, progressive and even doom tendencies. Despite all that is going on, the album has a solid flow from one track to the next and the songs themselves are pieced together well enough. The argument could be made that a few of the songs needed a minute or so removed but that is more subjective than an actual case against it. The production and mix is also noteworthy—it is raw enough to capture black metal's raw power but all the details still shine through, especially the bass.

The album opens with 'Lunar Reign - Lunar Apogee,' and the bass and drums rip up the rhythm while the riffs work their insane magic. The song is chaotic in a way that isn't messy or rushed but more like a slow to mid paced burn that infects the senses over time. The blast beats keep the song grounded at a primal level even has it sprawls out musically. The bass and guitar in the song's last moments caps the experience off nicely. 'Ascending Perfection,' does seem like it is climbing towards something—the vocals and guitar are like living entities, crawling towards their destination, reaching it then entering another state of power.  I love how the first half is aggressive but the later half takes a more atmospheric approach.

'The Woven Chords of Ecstasy' is an off putting song. The twisted riffs, barrage of drums, and harrowing vocals just give it a messed up atmospheric.  The bass plays a more intricate role, becoming the pulse of the song while everything else is attacking at random. Crazy song! 'Eye of the Saturnian Dawn," features a vicious vocal attack. Chaos leads the way until it all comes to a stop for a creepy and somewhat ambient section that is an unconventional approach but finds a way to work before the song returns once again to the madness. The two 'Primeval Cognition' songs are a big journey. The first part is definitely more moody, weaving a much slower Incantation. The second part goes for the throat but still has some introspective moments.

All in all,  'Flagellum Universalis,' is a strange yet engaging journey that uses music as much as mood to build a fantastic blackened adventure.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Lunar Reign - Lunar Apogee
2. Intoxication Divine
3. Ascending Perfection
4. Lapsit Exillis
5. The Woven Chords of Ecstasy
6. Grave Sophia - Breath of the Night
7. Eye of the Saturnian Dawn
8. Primeval Cognition I
9. Primeval Cognition II
D - Bass
V - Drums
T- Guitars
Funus - Vocals
Record Label: III Damnation


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