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Review: Enthroned - Xes Haereticum
Xes Haereticum

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 44:37
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 18, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Xes Haereticum

Rated 2.69/5 (53.75%) (16 Votes)

This is album number six for Belgium's best-known Black Metal export. I have been a big fan of these guys since "Towards The Skullthrone Of Satan", and they have been improving since then, with a setback here and there, true, but generally improving. I thought "Carnage In Worlds Beyond" was their best to date, and would be hard to top, so does "Xes Haereticum" manage it?

Well, um, not really, but that doesn't mean it's not any good. This is Enthroned, who have never made a bad album, and probably won't. "Carnage" was so locked-in, heavy, and riff-laden I was pretty sure they would not be able to better it right away. "Xes Haereticum" is, however, a pure Enthroned album – meaning fast, evil, and Black all the way. Few bands have been as true to Black Metal for as long as this one, and they aren't about to start disappointing now. True, there are some parts on this CD that are a bit different. The muted 'instrumental' AMSG, some slower, more melodic leads with mideast influences, and even some clean vocals (!) on "Seven Plagues, Seven Wraths". But those are just bits, and 95% of this is the same old Enthroned we know and love. The production is not quite as good as on the last album, and the riffs are not quite as catchy, but this is still a worthy album.

The cover art is genuinely ugly – where was Kris Verwimp this time around? Did they lose his number? The interior layout is that same damned montage style with the lyrics printed at an angle and pics of the bandmembers photoshopped in with all kinds of gay filters. If you've seen a Behemoth or Belphegor album lately you know the style I mean. Dull. The digipack has three bonus cuts that are actually quite fun, and are not disposable at all. "Satanic Metal Kult" is especially cheesy, with all the references to former albums and other bands they crammed into the lyrics.

So this latest from an old reliable band is a worthy piece of work, and even if it isn't as good as the awesome "Carnage" it will still sit proudly among the band's other albums on my shelf. If you are an Enthroned fan, it should be on your shelf too.

Additional Information

The digipak edition includes 3 bonus tracks:

  • Crucified Towards Hell
  • Satanic Metal Kult
  • Under The Guillotine

Total duration: 55:16

Other related information on the site
Review: Carnage in Worlds Beyond (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Carnage in Worlds Beyond (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Cold Black Suns (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Obsidium (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Pentagrammaton (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Regie Sathanas - A Tribute to Cernunnos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Tetra Karcist (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Tetra Karcist (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: The Apocalypse Manifesto (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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Interview with Lord Sabathan (bass/vocals) on April 10, 2003 (Interviewed by Barbara Williams (Crowley))
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