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Panychida – Haereticalia - The Night Battles Award winner

Haereticalia - The Night Battles
by Jessica R. Harman at 19 November 2016, 8:20 AM

PANYCHIDA, a Black Pagan Metal band, was formed in the Czech Republic in 2004. These the past 12 years, these guys have released many EPs and Demos, as well as three full-length albums. PANYCHIDA has toured Europe multiple times and had a successful tour in Mexico. They are back with their fourth full-length release “Haereticalia – The Night Battles”. This release comes in with nine tracks and two additional bonus tracks and a listening time of just over 45 minutes, including the additional live tracks.

The opening track “The Wild Hunt Assembly” is wonderfully symphony laden. It’s almost like a Gothic Waltz. It is beautifully orchestrated and gives a cryptic introduction to what the album holds. It ends in a spoken word, children in their ever so innocents, “they are brining the night”. Track two, “Procession of the Dead” has all the melodies. This track is the epitome of musicianship. The melodies are super catchy, but still keep true to the darker sound they are creating. The guitars give life to the gritty vocals and uber-low baseline. The drums are unique here and throughout the album, as they tend to stand out with more creative work than just a blast beat for this and a blast beat for that.

The Night Consumes the Light”, track three, starts off a little lower and a little slower than the previous track. The music is slow song meets a callous vocal. It’s so interesting. I absolutely find this track to so unique. It’s very short, but it explodes with a creative and imaginative feel. Track four, “Josafat (The Gathering)” is filled to the hilt with fantasy. This track is Symphonic, but still keeps their original Black Pagan Metal roots. It’s a beautifully executed track with something all Metal lovers would love. “In Striacium” is an instrumental. Not only a beautifully done instrumental, but one that is so raw. This track is the acoustic Folk-ness needed in an album as complete at this one. These guitars are brilliantly performed. The only thing that threw me for a second was the transition from the Folk guitars, to the symphony. That transition was a little off, but did allow for a beautiful prelude to the sixth track “Hunting the Witches”.

Track seven, “…for I Don’t Cause the Evil” starts off even more different than the rest of the album to this point, but is that really something unexpected from this album to now? No, it is not. This track is filled with so much goodness. The guitars are truly inspiring in this track. The final track of the album “Perchtenlaufen” is another beautifully accomplished track. This one is not acoustic. This track finalizes everything this album is. It starts in the heavens and ends on a more grounded level. The story is here, and not only told through the lyrics from the rest of the album, but also from the music itself. What a phenomenal ending to the regular length album.
Haereticalia - The Night Battles” is a pretty amazing album. I love how all of these tracks pull from so many different genres of metal that it is hard to put these guys in a sub genre. That is the best type of metal; the kind that defies most labels, because it’s too good to be in just one. If you are a fan of Folk, Symphonic (with growled vocals), or Black Metal, definitely give this album a go.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Wild Hunt Assembly
2. Procession of the Dead
3. The Night Consumes the Light
4. Josafat (The Gathering)
5. In Striacium (instrumental)
6. Hunting the Witches
7. …For I don´t Cause the Evil
8. The Livonian Werewolf
9. Perchtenlaufen (instrumental)
10. Alatyrĭ (live bonus track)
11. Three Pillars (live bonus track)
Vlčák - Vocals
Sinneral - Guitar
Honza V. - Guitar
Talic - Bass
Sheafraidh - Drums
Record Label: Cursed Records


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