Heretic – Feast
Soman Records/Tree House Records
Release Date: 31/08/2021
Running Time: 56:44
Review by Victor Augusto
Hello my friends! I hope you are all good and safe for this new year. Even though I wish to forget everything that happened in 2021 in my personal life, and pray for a better 2022 (at least a less bad one), I still have things to talk about from last year, and Heretic is one of them. I won’t repeat everything I mentioned about the band, because you can check it on my introduction of the “Entity” EP review, that I did here at Ever Metal previously. The only thing I will emphasize is the fact that I am hearing the 5th Heretic release in a space of 3 years. Keep this info in mind to understand what I want to tell you.
Basically, I can describe Heretic as a Heavy Metal band that has Oriental and Middle Eastern sounds very present in their music. It’s the band’s trademark, by the way. And how strong these elements are could change in each release. On the last EP, I felt a good balance between the guitar work and the Oriental music. I guess they kept it for this album. I believe the addition of keyboards is the new element, and I can hear that the band is giving a kind of space on the instrumentals for Erich Martins to work in a good atmosphere based on his vocals. You can hear it on the entire album, especially on the beautiful bonus track ‘Anno Mundi’ (Black Sabbath cover).
Guilherme Aguiar and Laysson Mesquita have worked together to create a ground or path, on guitar and bass, to add all the other elements over. Guilherme uses his inspirations from all the Death Metal bands he plays (or played) for to program the drums, adding a few very aggressive short blast beats, as you hear in the opening track ‘Sudden Awakening’, which has these fast beats after a smooth Sitar (I guess it is a Sitar) intro, and few guitar riffs among a cadenced rhythm. The good thing from it is how he’s kept the main essence of the band’s sonority despite this small addition.
By the way, talking about smooth cadences, this is something I noticed for this whole album. Maybe not only to fit the vocals, as I’ve already mentioned, but for an atmosphere for the instruments as well. ‘The Storm’, despite the title track suggesting chaotic music, shows this good and calm vibe. Again, there is a constant keyboard to increase this sense of peace that the sound is offering, even with the heavy riffs and a strong solo from Nym Rhosilir.
The album also offers aggressive tracks like ‘Hiding Moon’, or brings more visibility to good and simple riffs in tracks like ‘Staring at Blazes’ and on the intro of ‘Powerless’. These last two mentioned songs even reminded me a bit of Gojira, in terms of guitar work. There are a few minor changes to sound throughout the album, such as the funky bass intro of ‘Sacred Sea’. ‘Whistleblower’ and the closing song ‘Reza’ look like they left the album pattern behind, though, offering something more brutal than the rest of the album.
Now changing the subject from music to a small detail. I can say the year is new, but my insane thoughts about analyzing references are still old, and it’s getting worse every day! If you read my review of their last EP, I emphasized how they have an amazing sequence of material released in a short space of time. Basically, they had 5 albums in 3 years (two full albums, one cover album, one EP and a live album). It is like they are always hungry to compose and record material. Despite the number of releases, this is the first full album with new composition since 2019 and we have a lot of music here. The EP “Entity” was like an appetizer for this feast. Sorry if I’m talking just gibberish stuff, but it is how I see their ability to compose so much music.
By the way, what matters is the capability to create good and complex music like Heretic have been showing along the years – complex because it is hard to put together so many different musical genres in this way. I just have to congratulate this Brazilian/Portuguese band on the brilliance they keep offering to their fans! Amazing work.
‘The Storm’ – Official Video
01. Sudden Awakening
02. The Storm
03. Hiding Moon
04. Staring At Blazes
06. Sacred Sea
10. Anno Mundi (Bonus Track – Black Sabbath Cover)
Erich Martins – Vocals
Guilherme Aguiar – Guitars, Synths, Orchestration, Drum Programing, Sitar, Tabla, Baglama, Bouzouki, Esraj, Zourna, Shennai and Tampura
Laysson Mesquita – Fretless bass
Pete Mush – Keyboards on ‘Sudden Awakening’
Nym Rhosilir – Solo guitar on ‘The Storm’
Thiago Tsuruda – Solo guitar on ‘Tenderness’
Luis Maldonalle – Solo guitar on ‘Sacred Sea’, ‘Powerless’ and ‘Whistleblower’
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