1. Goetia
2. Beneath a December Twilight
3. The Spell of the Winter Forest
4. A Flame in the Halls of Blasphemy
5. A Monument for Eternal Martyrdom
6. The Slaughter of Innocence
7. At the Haunted Gallows of Dawn
8. Christfire
9. Within the Ruins of Eden
10. The Danse Macabre
11. The Beckoning

Subject: Review of Hecate Enthroned - 'The Slaughter Of Innocence, A Requiem For The Mighty'

I'm not going to apologise for comparing Hecate Enthroned to Cradle Of Filth, because despite Hecate Enthroned's protests that they don't think they sound anything like them, they, er, do. A British Black Metal band with six members... music laden with orchestral keyboards... insane high pitched screamy vocals (VERY reminiscent of Dani's style)... rapid snare drum attacks... etc. There's even a few instrumental tracks. 'The Slaughter Of Innocence, A Requiem For The Mighty' is an album which has elements of both CoF's debut and CoF's 'Dusk... And Her Embrace.' I'd say the main difference is that Hecate Enthroned are a little less gothic and a little more Black Metal orientated. There are no female vocals here, or any erotic imagery and vampyrism.

As with their MCD, the music is mostly fast - but, as is often the case with bands these days, the slower moments are usually the most effective. The beginning of 'Within The Ruins Of Eden' reminds me of 'In Longing Spirit' by Emperor, then giving way to some melodic riffs and whatnot with surprisingly rhythmic screams. This and the title track are my favourites here - they "build" rather than wander, and whilst the chord changes are sometimes a little too predictable, this doesn't matter as much as you might expect. 'Beneath A December Twilight' is another good song... 4 minutes in, we get an ambient synth break which reminds me of CoF's debut. There's also a short bit of harmonic singing in this song, which would've been delightful had it been higher in the mix (you can barely hear it).

The songtitles and even the band logo are ridden with cliches, but I think the band must be applauded for at least sticking with the Satanic image when so many other bands are forsaking it. All in all it's an enjoyable album, and they're clearly very talented musicians - but the CoF influences really are rather obvious, especially on the first couple of listens. Perhaps this isn't a major crime - after all, think of all the bands who try to imitate Bathory and others - so don't let it put you off. BTW, the synth intro is great.

Rating: 8 out of 10.