Since 2014’s Storming Heaven it seems that Fornicus have only become harsher and more extreme with their black metal. Hymns of Dominion is 43 minutes of fast and scathing icy hatred.
There’s a bestial, war metal feel to parts of this, and the band aren’t afraid to include some death metal influences here and there.
Although Fornicus have a modern veneer in some respects they also have plenty of 80s and 90s metal/black metal elements in their sound. Love the Slayer-esque scream at the start of Feast of Rats, for example.
The combination of different eras and styles also applies to the production in some respects, as they have managed to end up with a sound that captures a professional, modern recording with a raw, underground feel. The end result is somewhat of a best-of-both-worlds situation, where the band sound grimly powerful without being overly polished.
Although they’re not really what you would call a melodic band, it’s good to hear bits of melody appear amidst the carnage sometimes. I very much like a lot of the blackened rhythms and melodies that they use, and although they play lightning-fast most of the time, when they slow down and create a more moody, atmospheric approach, it works a treat.
There are some good songs on Hymns of Dominion and I especially enjoy some of the longer tracks such as Searing the Scourge of Christendom, as these combine a lot of the band’s strengths into one place.
Fornicus have returned with a strong album that’s more than enjoyable enough to warrant your attention. Have a listen.