Coming at you from the Czech Republic, death metallers HEAVING EARTH have unleashed the fury of their second full-length album Denouncing the Holy Throne (Lavadome Productions). Already out in some parts of the world the U.S. release is today and it’s one any self-respecting Death Metal fan should give a listen to. Angry drums and rattling, dissonant guitars all over the place only add to the madness encompassing all twelve songs. Vocalist Michal Stepanek provides growls aplenty while the rest of the band swirls around him seemingly in a vortex. Of particular note is the aforementioned guitar work of Jaroslav Santrucek and Tomas Halama. The tone they get is really something, especially on leadoff track “The Final Crowning” and ESPECIALLY during the last minute-and-a-half. Drummer Jirka “Jurgen” Zajic has a field day across this and all the other songs, and thankfully we can hear bassist Pavel Satra in the mix. That’s such a problem with this genre sometimes…where’s the goddamn bass?
“Nailed to Perpetual Anguish” is like one big fuckin’ metal stew with everyone’s parts stirring around waiting to be consumed, while “Doomed Before Inception” shows the band running like a well-oiled machine. I’ve had this record for over a month and this is still one of the tracks I look forward to most whether I’m in my truck or working from home. The echoing, gloomy guitars of instrumental interlude “And the Mighty Shall Fall” are the harbingers of doom, warning you that something big and mighty is about to be dropped on your head, in this case “Worms of Rusted Congregation”. This is much slower in tempo, but doesn’t skimp anywhere on the heaviness, showing another facet of this band’s considerable talents. And by the Gods, that solo at the end is mouth-watering.
Bookending the previous track is another interlude “…Into the Sea of Fire”, but really it serves more as an intro to “Forging Arcane Heresy” which combines a nasty drum pattern with some more killer solos that are nothing short of brilliant. For “I Am Nothing” the dissonance of the guitar chords really spices things up and makes it easily one of my favorites. “Into the Depths of Abomination” continues in much the same vein guitar-wise with Zajic blasting and filling away like it’s his last day on Earth. There’s quite a hook on this one as well, believe it or not. Yet another short instrumental pops up in “…Where the Purified Essence Descends Ablaze”. It’s almost like these guys know they just knocked us around for three songs in a row so they’re giving us a minute to breathe.
It doesn’t last, though. “Jesus Died” comes in as the final full song, 7:21 of unyielding, stalking, and unrelenting death, looking to drown anyone and everyone in its wake. Here you can really see how well the members work together and play off of one another, resulting in a superb cut of metal meat. Winding things down is the final instrumental track “Endless Procession of the Holy Martyrs – Final Termination,” which fades in on a guitar solo over some slow, deliberate drums, then fades out leaving only the sound of bleakest night. In all HEAVING EARTH have delivered an excellent record with Denouncing the Holy Throne, one that should be on your to-do list right now.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Forging Arcane Heresy”, “Doomed Before Inception”, “I Am Nothing”, “Jesus Died”, “The Final Crowning”