The darkness of eternal absence combined…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 30 January 2015
Spain’s Hic Iacet first dropped into the dark world of Midlands Rocks with their Prophecy of Doom EP in late November 2012. A subterranean slab of insalubrious death metal as black as the abyss from whence its infernal influences arose, chilling, grim, fiery and ferocious, giving a quick blast or several to that and their 2011 demo Hedonist of Death was barely enough while we waited for an album. 2015 and the faceless faction has at last delivered the work that fulfills all that has long been desired: The Cosmic Trance Into The Void.
The vocal is that of some unearthly demagogue, the pummelling drums throb and pound with enough force to tear the earth, the skies, and the heavens asunder, and the guitar lines slash their way through savagely black lines and disorientating death and doom discordance. Black and bleak and death-like, heavy as hell and sinister and evil and dark and heaving in the leaden and malicious atmospherics as was expected, it’s much like any other black / death album, yes? No. Hic Iacet has much in its arsenal.
A quick skim over the track titles and it’s apparent that this band is dragging us on a mystical journey. Shifting in shape and texture, the tracks bear much broader dimensions. Whether doom heavy or blackly barbaric, the riffs are sharp, cutting, as a rusted blade deep into flesh. Shifts in tempo are complemented by shifts in mood, the blackened firmament beneath which we suffer at the band’s behest becoming increasingly oppressive.
Though it appears that they are to be on the offensive for the duration, when we eventually collapse ‘Into The Bowels Of The Absolute’, the band make a significant shift, the strains of eastern mysticism beginning to emerge more prominently. Chimes, chants, and mesmerizing melodies fuel the fire of ‘Mahakala’ (a wrathful deity, one of the Dharmapalas in Vajrayana Buddhism) as the album’s hold takes on an increasingly haunting and otherworldly feel that is at its zenith in the epic ten-minute closing track. Vast in every sense of the term, black, death, doom and the darkness of eternal absence combine for a devastating track that is immense, imposing, and merciless. The only problem now is that we have to wait for the next album…
9 out of 10
- The Cosmic Trance Into The Void
- Infinite Consciousness
- Death In The Abyss Of Meditation
- Into The Bowels Of The Absolute
- The Catacombs Of The Mandala