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Bad riffs add up to a weak first effort - 50%

autothrall, April 25th, 2010

Heidenreich was a project of Peter K (Abigor), which produced two albums in the late 90s and understandably met with little success. The first of these, A Death Gate Cycle must have sounded interesting on paper, and I do enjoy the symphonic/industrial infusion into the sound, but the black metal itself is rather unfortunate, with weak riffing that one could cut and paste from any other forgettable melodic black album of the period.

There are some moments where this mediocrity is completely avoided, like the orchestral piece "The Prophet's Sacrifice", the brief haunted castle pianos of "Todeswunsch", and the freakish battle samples and guitar strangling of "Memories of a Descending Moon". When "Frozen Tears" breaks from its black spasmic riffing to its more experimental electronics and the dulcet tones of the synth and gloomy male vocals, it starts to get interesting. But I derived no enjoyment from the title track or the caustic ribbing of "The Goat Shrine".

The album is mercifully short at 27 minutes, so it's not as if it was meant to bore you through its meagre compositions. Joining PK for this project were two former Abigor members, Thurisaz on vocals and his wife Lucia on keyboards. Experimentation can be a good thing, and the following album Trance of An Unholy Union was superior to this debut (though still suffered occasionally through its own riffing). Not recommended unless you are dead set on your curiosities for the side projects of the Austrian greats (Abigor, Summoning, etc).

Highlights: not really, maybe "The Prophet's Sacrifice"

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com