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Hecates Cult - Album Review: The Path Of Night

14 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

The Path Of Night by Otautahi Christchurch band Hecate's Cult was recorded, mixed, and mastered by the utter weapons at Audioganic Studios, and it's pretty easy to see why so many local artists are queuing up to have them do the same. Hecate's Cult are a bare-bones three piece, with no backing vocals, backing tracks, samples, or anything other than the sounds produced by drums, a bass, a guitar, and a voice. Yet this album has a huge sound. 

The first track, The Darkness In Me, lumbers forth like a massive and malevolent prehistoric pachyderm. Aaron Caldwell's bass is so gigantic and deliciously dirty, there's almost no need for guitar on this track. Mourning Star kicks off with nice fat chuggyness, and suitably despairing lyrics continue the album's theme. A more atmospheric mood takes over at times on I Am, juxtaposing nicely with some more aggressive passages. This Burden has a much more upbeat pace, with some almost punky overtones, as vocalist/guitarist Samuel Keen roars his defiance (this over-achiever has also just released a solo album, Metamorphosisand an album by The Snake BehaviourYouthanise, for whom he plays drums. I've also frequently seen him at the gym, and he has a full-time job. Quite frankly, I'm starting to think it's also highly likely that Samuel can't be killed by conventional weapons).

Next up is the hauntingly angry Black Inside with its driving, angular riffs and vicious lyrics. Queen of Witches has a cool NWOBHM feel to it, no real surprise there, as Hecate's Cult proudly make it clear they're a Metal band. After having been led down the Path Of Night by the Witch Queen, Nightmares await the unwitting listener, hot on the tail of an outrageously filthy guitar intro. A snarling beast of a song, which manages to more than adequately conjure up the spine-chilling feel it was going for.

Drummer Pete Storey delivers a slinky and exotic rhythm for Nocturnal, the final track, and it's also the longest at nearly five and a half minutes... positively epic, when you consider that the 8 songs clock in at a total of just over thirty minutes. I like that the overall theme of darkness has pervaded every song, in different forms. This album is sombre, but with moments of light. Gloomy, but not dreary. Dark... but not sad. More as if the darkness itself were being passively observed and judged. Solid effort lads, nice one.


About Hecates Cult

Hecates Cult are an exciting 3-piece hard rock and heavy metal band.

They have come out of post pandemic Aotearoa and have already built up a strong loyal fan base and are making waves locally and nationally.

After releasing an EP they have gone on to open for legends of the NZ music scene and travelled for gigs in the South Island.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hecates Cult


The Path Of Night
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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