Seven long years have passed since we last heard from Heaving Earth on 2015’s crushing Denouncing the Holy Throne. The band have finally returned with 49 minutes of new material, as well as a new line up, (including a new singer who is also in Brutally Deceased and Somniate, and session drums from the drummer of Hideous Divinity/Nero di Marte). Do they still have what it takes to pulverise and destroy with their mere presence?
The simple answer is yes, but they do so with an expanded range of ambition and merciless skills.
Darkness of God walks the path of classic death metal masters such as Hate Eternal, Immolation, and Morbid Angel, but does so with its own character, confidence, and map; Heaving Earth are now forging their own path. The core of the band’s style on Darkness of God comes from their previous work, but this new material has much more of an idiosyncratic presentation; more individuality of riffs, ideas, and intricate execution means that Darkness of God is Heaving Earth’s most compelling and enjoyable album yet.
The songs are brutal and complex. They slither, twist, and crawl through their running time with malevolent heaviness and lethal intensity. Mutating riffs and contorting melodies wrap themselves around you and slowly constrict, while otherworldly atmospheric storms batter you from all directions.
A lot of work and care, love, and attention has clearly been showered onto this album. The music is layered with intention and consideration. The band have paid more attention to dynamics, structuring, and twisted melody in their composition. This has created a greater range of emotive content and atmospheric heights for the band to explore, while still remaining brutal at heart. Heaving Earth’s technical death metal approach is one that is bent to the needs of songcraft, rather than technicality for the sake of it.
Heaving Earth have progressed and developed an impressive amount over the last seven years, and Darkness of God is their masterwork. Despite how much I enjoyed Denouncing the Holy Throne, Darkness of God has surpassed it and has taken Heaving Earth to the next level entirely. If Denouncing the Holy Throne was a love affair with classic death metal, Darkness of God is an attempt to push the style forward into vibrant, evolved, and contemporary territories.
Don’t miss out on this.