Wondrous natural landscapes encircle the earth at almost every latitude, but it seems that every one marked by the footprints of humankind has been marred by legacies of violence and shame. Beneath the ground, at depths both shallow and deep, the soil is salted with bitter graves and crumbling bones, and the recorded histories preserve chilling memories, both haunting and horrifying, no matter how much living peoples might wish to brush them away like annoying flies or permanently erase them.
Within the boundaries of New Mexico are many such wondrous landscapes; much of the State is so beautiful it takes your breath away. But it too, like most of the southwestern United States (and almost everywhere else in the world), has been defaced by the footprints of humankind and scarred by its own legacies of human abomination.
New Mexico’s Heretical Sect disclose almost nothing about themselves (though we’re told they’re also members of more prominent bands, and that they live in one of that State’s most stunning locales, Santa Fe), but we do have some insights into their musical vision, thanks to an introduction provided by the three labels who are jointly releasing their self-titled debut EP on March 1st (Redefining Darkness Records, Caligari Records, and Vendetta Records):
“The Southwest; represented through a nostalgic lense of cowboy culture, rarely exposes the most brutal atrocities of American history. Churches chained shut and lit on fire with the congregation inside, severed limbs piled in the streets, and disease and slavery are burned into the memory of the landscape. These horrors are sonically juxtaposed against the natural beauty of the high desert. Expansive skies, deep canyons, painted red rocks, all witnesses to untold butchery and grief”.
With that backdrop in mind, we invite you to experience the electrifying opening track on this EP, “Visceral Divination“.
This dynamic music sits at a desolate and dangerous crossroad where doom, death metal, and black metal meet. The sound burns and batters. Shards of eerily bright, preternatural melody spear out from seething riffs, booming bass, and racing drums. Cruel, cavernous growls and flensing shrieks vent colossal fury above that blazing tumult.
The music collapses, rapidly morphing into a titanic moaning dirge, digging a deep trench into tainted earth, surrounded by the sound of vaporous wraiths. The pace accelerates again, bounding and then rushing in a fiery surge, with those fanfares of bright but beleaguered melody leaping out once more. The feelings of frenzy and violence come back to the forefront. In this pulse-pounding crescendo, the guitar lead becomes an unnerving pulse and then a feverish disease over a thick magnetic riff.
What a hell of a thrilling (and chilling) ride this is, and a big draw for the rest of the EP (which is also superb).
Heretical Sect‘s members identify themselves as Coffin Beast (Drums), Crypt Hammer (Bass), and Warg (Drums and Vocals). They recorded the music live with Kyle Morgan, with guitar and vocal overdubs, and the EP was mixed and mastered by Chris Allison. The cover photo is by Kara Duval.
The EP is available for pre-order now on CD, vinyl, and cassette tape, with each of the three labels handling a different physical format.
Redefining Darkness Records (CD):
Vendetta Records (Vinyl):
Caligari Records (Cassette):