Brew Hideous

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European goth metal artist Hecate (born Rachael Kozak) straddles three warring musical styles so effectively that her albums sound singularly strange and intriguing. First, there's the glitchy electronica: the basis of these ten songs is a series of fractured breakbeats slightly too random to dance to. Over that, Kozak lays atmospheric darkwave synthesizers and spiky metal guitar lines, finishing with her alternately whispered and growled vocals singing lyrics about fun topics like heresy and purification. The balance is so expertly maintained that no one element overwhelms the others, even as different sides of Kozak's musical personality take precedence at different times, such as the near-ambient lulls and synth washes of the closing "Mandrax." Those whose musical purview is wide enough to include Mouse on Mars, Diamanda Galás, and symphonic black metal will embrace Brew Hideous.

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