Heretic actually has lots of history behind them, their humble beginnings dating back to 1985, and to many (like me) who are well acquainted with their early work, including their brisk effort ‘’Breaking Point’’, their revival is a good tiding, or so we shall see. The US power and thrash scene was always profuse, and scores of bands were always putting out demos and displaying their talent, and the early Heretic was no exception. Despite the fact that ‘’Breaking Point’’ was still superior to some of its peers at the time, Heretic, for some reason didn’t gain the recognition they requited to step up to a next level, but years later, they sign to Metal On Metal Records(who are perfect for their style) and record a sophomore album, ‘’A Time For Crisis’’. While still principally sticking to the old school side of thrash, Heretic definitely made a change in their sound, preferring to use massive amplification and blatant riffs, occurring at one time each, and closing the gateway to a more raw sound.
Although they’re dubbed as power/thrash, to me, heretic seem to be mustering a heftier, spacious thrash, supporting huge riffs mainly driven by palm mutes and semi-technical melody attacks, and instead of charging forth with swift, slightly hazy forays, the band chooses to display the nudity of their riffs with obvious chugs. This may beguile to some who seek the adventurous and crushing strength of thrash, and believe me, they do their best to maintain catchiness and dynamics at a steady level, but seldom, I feel though the riffs are bland and should be served with more decorative dashes rather than huge, naked portions. Sure, there’s a fairly entertaining usage of melody and such aspects that make the plain textures slightly richer, but the main focus is the solidity of the riffs. Yes, they do omit certain elements what could have made marginal difference, and they don’t always stick to their atavistic aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean the music is boring, because with the full force pounding going on 7/24, it’s hard not to enjoy the crunchy simplicity of the riffs, which may even ring in your ears for a day or two.
The songs have some distinct traits which negate them from getting all mixed up, but variation only happens in the deeper sections of each song, as all worship the same monolithic, rigorous tone and each track applies a lot of tasty chops into its fairly large arsenal of riffs. While the riffs may be fairly sordid on their own, their main purpose is to let the rhythm flow viscously, but the vocals are relatively harsh; not quite your classic power metal vocals, even they though they add sublime aggressiveness and vivacity to the music, they don’t quite fit the ‘’epic’’ portion on the power metal bill, despite the fact that his utters are strong and he has a fairly high voice. So I can see that the band has definitely deviated from the power metal sector (although only marginally), with solid riffs forming a brickwall torso of rigor and stiffened huskiness, and lacking much of the band’s previous sound which was rather pliable, assuring vivacity alongside agility.
Even so, ‘’A Time For Crisis’’ is a damn solid piece of thrash, and since non-beer/party/poser-killing thrash has become a rare treasure these days, I’ll treat with special care. The records may generally consist of bulky thrash beats and such, but it should still gather resident power/speed/heavy freaks around it, because it’s one package that compliments each of the mentioned genres, and despite its flaws, I’m still glad Heretic didn’t turn out to be just another victim lost to the adored sensation of melody and modern sounds that seem to engulf the current thrash scene as we know it. And moreover, I’m surprisingly zealous about a third album or even an upcoming Ep.
Child Of War
The End Of The World