Panychida’s 2013 release Grief for an Idol was an enjoyable slab of Pagan-influenced black metal, which is why I have been looking forward to their latest release.
Let’s start off with the album artwork; I like a good cover and this is one I really like. It’s the kind of cover that just screams LISTEN TO ME at the top of its lungs, telling me in no uncertain terms that this is not something to be dismissed or passed over. Well, far be it for me to ignore the voices in my head. So let’s press play…
Panychida play their black metal with a hearty Pagan influence, some jaunty melodics and a pinch of orchestration/keyboard enhancement.
The main vocals are appropriately blackened screams, which are joined here and there by cleans, growls and shouts, as the song requires. The performance level is high with all of these.
These songs are full of emotive and stirring melodies, with the well-written music basking in these attributes. There are lots of interesting ideas on the album too; it’s clear the band don’t suffer from a lack of creativity. Good leads and solos, some tasty riffs, grand orchestral moments and nice introspective passages are only a few of the things I like about these songs.
This album is more polished than their previous one, and the entire thing sounds really good, with a really strong production. The band have never sounded so immense.
I really enjoyed this, even more so than Grief for an Idol, I’d say. The band have successfully improved upon themselves, stripping away some of the flab and leaving a lean, hungry machine in its place. Let that not imply any coldness though, as the beating core of Haereticalia – The Night Battles is one of emotion and feeling, cast as Pagan black metal and unleashed on the world by a band who clearly love what they do.