Ecce Homo simply is an awesome album where dramatic, heavy passages of depressive black metal seemlessly alternate with blastbeats driven violence, only to flow into lengthy atmospheric sceneries and weird, scary soundscapes. Tradionally, this music is supported by shrieking vocals and screams. The result is an extremely varied black metal album, and to me personally, one that can make me enjoy this genre to the fullest extent again.
Yes, there was a time that I absolutely loved black metal but somehow I lost interest for quite some time. Ecce Homo might not have been the first album that pulled me back in, but it's definitely the most pursuasive one. Cien blends all the needed elements and influences together with such precision and furious tempo that they often succeed in creating an intense, trance-like atmosphere. In 'Lustfullness', my absolute favourite track on this album, the long instrumental passages are simply perfect and the highspeed brutality is immense.
However, Cien doesn't seem to mind including a bit of melodic death metal as well. 'Slave Of Life' reminds me of the old Season Of Mist and Candelight era, when black metal overthrew everything we thought extreme music was about. Yet, in my opinion, Cien does it even better than some of the bands on the previously mentioned labels. This is probably the result of more modern-day sounding technical possibilities but also of the excellent songwriting skills Cien possess.
So yes, you might say Cien is my latest discovery and that they go straight onto my 'genre-favourites' list. I can only recommend checking this album out. Ecco Homo is not only a well-varied album, it's also filled with surprises. Yet, of course, most of all this album is wicked, dark and evil like any decent black metal album should be. Most of the songs on this album are indeed a perfectly balanced mix of black, death & thrash metal, punk, post-rock and a hint of folk. At least, musically. Lyrical (both in English and Polish) and in terms of ethos, this is about as black and ill-natured as it gets.