Such moments is the joy of the middle metalhead. Such groups show the new ones that despite high budgets, super sounding productions, a multinational colossal record company behind them and numeral random myspace friends that above all, music is played with heart and soul, experience marks the cornerstone of originality or even success and last but not least, if you have vision and patience, everything impossible can be achieved. That’s what Bay Area thrashers Heathen from San Francisco did on their new album and the result is nothing less but an epic!
Fate played it hard with Heathen back in the day, for they were one of many bands that surely deserved something better in their career, having released two monumental albums in the past, the aknowledgeable debut ”Breaking The Silence” and ”Victims Of Deception”, one of the best albums not only in thrash metal, but in metal history in overall. Then it was 1991 and nearly two decades passed until the quintet released a new album, with only making a compilation cd named ”Recovered” available back in 2004. It was worth the wait however, and you can’t imagine how much.
Stating this with as much objectivity I am able to give, this is simply the best thrash album in nearly a decade, since Kreator released ”Violent Revolution” in 2001. Yes, it is so great and so amazing, how couldn’t it be since from the ”Intro” even, they are helped by the mighty Steve Digiorgio who plays some sitar, accompanied by Sadus drummer Jon Allen who does some percussion job (and some backing vocals here and there). All these until ”Dying Season” is the beginning of an unleashed attack which will capture your mind for the next 68 minutes, where there is no second for waste.
Most tracks are long in duration, above six minutes long, with great structures and constant rhythm changes inside them. Classic Bay Area anthems, accompanies with some great soloing by master Lee Altus, some mid tempo ones, and above all, one milestone in our music, the 11 minute opus ”No Stone Unturned”, with fretless bass played by Digiorgio again. For sure one of the most characteristic moments in the album, a mature and non-boring piece of music that catches us all by surprise and makes us wonder why this album got finally so late to obtain.
Also, we must mention the great job vocalist David White did. He has always been one of the best metal voices of all times, though most people never really took notice of that, but here he gives an outstanding performance that makes jaws drop and sounding younger than ever, like not a single day passed from the glorious moments of the start of the ’90s, where the band had the potential to become something special. Unfortunately with Altus moving to Germany and taking part in Die Krupps, or even Angel Witch and Exodus this took a little more.
But as it seems, time heals some wounds and will hopefully do justice to both the band and the album. This is a record made with a lot of love, for music, for thrash, for metal and for quality above all. Altus postponed this for many years but he wanted to make sure it would be something really worth. And it is my friends, it’s one of the best albums generally and for sure one of the best the last ten years. With moments like this one, our music will surely live on for much more years to come. I really wish and warn all of you to not ignore them again. Do yourselves a favour and just listen to it once. Then things will take their course on their own.
|Track List||Line Up|
02. Dying Season
03. Control by Chaos
04. No Stone Unturned
05. Arrows of Agony
06. Fade Away
07. A Hero’s Welcome
10. Red Tears of Disgrace
11. Silent Nothingness
|David White (aka David Godfrey) – Vocals
Lee Altus – Guitar
Kragen Lum – Guitar
Jon Torres – Bass
Darren Minter – Drums