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Hekata - Ruin - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, March 5th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Satanath Records (Limited edition)

From Russia with love comes another monstrous album of crushingly heavy music. I know that we are talking about a huge country but the amount of awesome material finding their way to metal heads across the world is insane. This time we are talking about the fairly new band Hekata and their first full length titled “Ruin”.

The basis of the music is comprised of crushingly heavy riffing akin to the Swedish death metal classics. The main chords are colossal and the buzz-saw tone of the guitar helps to create a filthy and doom-soaked atmosphere. The lead guitar harmonies are cleverly implemented and offer hints of melody into an otherwise atonal framework. “Ruin” is loaded to the brim with that kind of interplays between the crunchy trademark rhythms and the more fragile and often eerie harmonies.

While I would say that the main ingredients here have been taken from the death metal pool there are obvious doom metal influences to be found as well. The crawling bleakness and the haunting harmonies building the backbone to the heavy instrumentation are a very important factor to the overall picture that is painted on this record. While the tempo is kept in mid-tempo most of the time there are some very slow and intense sections. The songwriting is great with some well-placed tempo changes giving the whole album a great flow. While there are some impressive solo pieces the song structures are never too complicated making this album quite easy to enjoy from the first moment on. The lead guitars are mainly used to create slightly disturbing soundscapes and not for some technical wankery.

Beside the spectacular guitar work also the rhythm section has to be mentioned. The drumming is precise following the main patterns of each song and highlighting several sections where an extra portion of intensity is needed. Most of the time it is kept pretty laid-back underlining the stoic and doomy nature of the music. A gloomy atmosphere is something that is very important for this record.

The production is nearly flawless. The guitars are crunchy and have enough filthiness to satisfy each fan of old-school metal music. The drums are punchy without sounding too sterile and the overall mix is very transparent. The vocals are also on point reminding a bit of Greg Mackintosh and his work on the Vallenfyre albums (by the way a good point of reference in my personal opinion). “Ruin” for sure is an album that should be a great find for each fan of crusty old-school death metal done the Swedish way with a good portion of doom implemented as well.