I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with Mexico’s Hacavitz since their bulldozing debut, “Venganza” surfaced in 2005. That relationship has seen a further three albums out of which I have preferred the 2010’s “Metztli Obscura” primarily because it was just primeval sonic butchery. 2015’s “Darkness Beyond” in all honesty passed me by barely rattling my playlist during that year and this latest effort was actually out in mid-2017 on MAT records but has been given a new lease of rancid life by Moribund but also Blood Harvest it seems.

Onto the music and Hacavitz have always done things their way, never faltering from bringing their own terrorising brand of extreme metal from a trio of musicians whose sole mission it seems is to corrupt the very essence of your existence. The moment “Grimmagia” initiates this release the listener is thrust into a realm of obsidian malfeasance as a brittle guitar sound is harnessed throughout the album that grasps chokingly via the riffs that couples to the pulsing bass lines that permeate every track. The vocals have a vacuous aura, utilising a slight echo as though in a stone cavern or tomb as the album sweeps speedily into “Nighte” with its blasting segue. I particularly liked the elongated shriek here, it pierces the song like a dagger allowing the song to coalesce and slow down momentarily but at its malignant beating heart the track is a like a missile.

Changing the mood hugely is “Relentless Sleep”, an epic composition beginning with an ambient atmospheric piece the song has a blanket of desolation, especially when the isolated riff filters in, with its sinister eeriness. The gradual spiralling in intensity is excellent and has post black tendencies especially with the tortured vocal scream that penetrates the tracks ghostliness. The song is a massive standout and atypical for the band but as it transforms the riff that is generated is awesome, super catchy and immediately ingrained before the subsequent tempo increase. Wondrous dynamics and a breath-taking tune overall.

A song like “Perish” is typical Hacavitz material that fans will absorb with consummate ease but like the epic “Relentless Sleep” it’s the more ambitious tracks where this album glistens, “Semen Nihil” slows down massively and has that post black metal feel and dare I say it leans towards modern day Satyricon with its quirky riffing stature especially on “Unconsecrate” whose riff will indelibly stick in your head with its potent melody.

At first fans of the band might not appreciate how good this album is due to its slightly avant-garde nature but at its core it is Hacavitz through and through with a sonic malevolence the band is known for through seven tracks of ambitious blackened art.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)