Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Heretic – A Time Of Crisis



This is one of those releases that gives me a little trouble.  The whole idea behind The Ripple Effect is that we write about music that we love.  So for starters, sometimes it’s hard to fall in love with an album when you’ve gotta check it out, give it a few spins, and decide if it grabs you.  It’s almost got to be a love at first sight kind of thing.  And to be very honest this one didn’t grab me right away. 

I’ll just put this right on front street.  I had a hard time getting through the first 5 tracks.  There are two definite reasons.  The first is the vocalist for this band.  On the first few tracks, he had this weird vocal style.  If you’re a fan of Slayer, you know that Tom Araya has a very unique style of singing where he slides around and into the notes, but he does it very well and it definitely suits him and the music.  This singer has a very different voice, but he seems be trying to pull of the Tom Araya style and it was not working for me at all.  Also, the lead guitar player seemed to laying on the wah-filled solos a la Kirk Hammett just a little too thickly.  Between those two things I almost gave up on the album the first time through before I even listened to the whole thing.

But I persevered, and I’m really glad that I did.  Because somehow, like magic, the singer started just being himself, and the guitar player started doing his own thing, and the songs got really good.  Suddenly the songs are more concise, which also helps, and the whole band just seems to get to the point, and get down to business.  And Heretic, when they are doing their own thing, are quite good.

As with a lot of metal, this is not ground breaking stuff.  You’re not going to hear the next big thing, whatever that is, on this release.  (Just please tell me the next big thing isn’t going be djentcore or some shit like that).  “Raise Your Fist”, “Heretic”, and “Child Of War” are all very solid tracks, one right after the other.  There are some good, thrashy sounds and influences that come out in the music, and as far as I’m concerned that is never a band thing.  There is some good old straight ahead traditional metal as well and it’s a really good combination.  Made me think that maybe this should have been a 5 song EP, especially if you drop the first and last tracks which are just instrumentals.

So all in all, this is a solid release that is worth checking out.  And you may dig the whole thing.  After all, this review is just my opinion, and as me dear sainted da was fond of saying, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.”  Give it a listen and let me know what you think. 

- ODIN




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