Far too often, we are asked to settle for the mediocre and the uninspired – to accept that our existence will be a miserable slog of workaday tedium. This is the expectation foisted upon us by life in the 21st century. And sadly, too many artists in scenes that are supposed to embody the spirit of extremity and opposition to trends are happy to oblige. Prague’s HEAVING EARTH are not among them.
Since their crushing 2010 debut “Diabolic Prophecies,” and through the blistering 2015 follow-up “Denouncing the Holy Throne,” HEAVING EARTH have pushed the envelope of intensity and creativity in their style of chthonian death metal. Now, after a seven-year wait, with a new recording lineup featuring members of HIDEOUS DIVINITY and SOMNIATE, they have returned with “Darkness of God,” an album that represents an unprecedented evolution for death metal.
“Darkness of God,” from the opening doom-infused reverberations and sudden blasting onslaught of “Violent Gospels (Ordination of the Holy Trinity),” to the dizzying lead melodies of instrumental “Earthly Kingdom of God in Ruins,” to the unnerving clean guitar strums at the close of “Woeful Redemption”, is an album that abhors comfort and complacency. Every riff slithers, warps and twists through multiple iterations before flowing seamlessly into the next. Every song is a distinct experience in its own right, yet fits perfectly into the greater mosaic of the album’s 49-minute runtime. While most of their peers are content to write songs as collections of disparate riffs with a tenuous sense of continuity, HEAVING EARTH have mastered the art of cohesive, yet challenging thorough composition. And though the band is unafraid to explore any avenue for inspiration, and employs dynamics to tremendous effect, they never cross the line into gimmickry and always remain firmly committed to the essence of infernal death metal.
One would be remiss not to mention the production work of Andrea Petucco (AD NAUSEAM) which impeccably captures both the ferocity and unpredictability of the album, with a mix that makes every detail of the instrumentation easy to discern, and a DR10 digital master that rejects the Loudness War standards, which have turned so any metal albums in the digital era into a brick-walled mess.
This is death metal for those who refuse to settle for “pretty good“. This is death metal forged in the belly of the underworld. This is HEAVING EARTH.
Read our review here.