This is not your standard Death Metal. Oh, all of the features and identifying marks of the genre are present and correct, but this is a more mature, expanded beast than the average.
Desolate Shrine specialise in dark, malevolent Death Metal that’s epic in scope. This is over an hour in length, with some tracks having well over ten minutes duration.
The band complement their Death Metal core with a few Black/Doom influences and overall The Heart of the Netherworld boasts evil atmospheres and gloomy auras.
The songs have a lot of meat to them and there is plenty of variety and interest to be had here. Slower, atmospheric parts, brutal riffs, lighter mood-building sections, rhythmic destruction; Desolate Shrine have it all.
Deep growls are accentuated with the occasional scream. The singer has a powerful voice that lends the songs an inhuman component and brings out their otherworldly side even more than the music already does.
The sound of the album matches the content; it’s strong and clear enough to do the band justice but murky and grim enough to bring out the sense of ritualistic nightmare that the band create.
Three albums into their career and Desolate Shrine have clearly mastered the art of writing involved songs that are wrapped in darkness. Think of a band like Ævangelist only with less of a pure-horror Black Metal viewpoint and more of a powerful Death Metal one.
This is a top quality album of horror Metal if ever there was one. Check out Desolate Shrine today and try not to soil yourself.