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HEATHEN
HEATHEN
The Evolution Of Chaos
(Mascot Records)
68:34min

It was in 1988, that HEATHEN released their debut album "Breaking The Silence" on the much missed Combat Records (I know a couple of years ago Combat Records were supposed to release a bunch of screamo garbage, but forget that) and the way I found out about 'em is that a buddy of mine brought a cassette over (yes I am old) and I recall as I heard it, the motherfuckin' crunchy as fuck guitars and "Bonded By Blood" like speed and intesity grabbed me! And then the vocalist opened his mouth and it all came crashing down! Ugh! Melodic, nice and somewhat pretty even! I rejected it coz after all, being the arrogant little prick teenager that I was, I was the tastemaker in our clique! You didn't fuckin' tell me, I told you! But I was wrong! The riffing was chunky, the solos were thrashing but classy and I worked on getting around (at first) and then getting accustomed to David Godfrey's (now David White) vocals. Even liking them... It was like an EXODUS "lite" if you will and was and is a great album. A bit on the melodic side but not the fuckin' gay-ass lullabies that passes for "Power Metal" nowadays! I greeted the news of Mr. Godfrey leaving and being replaced by THE Paul Baloff, with much satanic glee (as Baloff himself said, if you are in a grave, you do not say "please open the grave and let me out" ('Open The Grave' from "Breaking The Silence"), but rather Baloff would have said "open up the fuckin' grave and fuckin' let me out or I'll tear your fuckin' face off!!". True story (as reported in the Spanish language Thrash Metal magazine out of Spain)!! However, that was not to last and Mr. Godfrey came back and we got the second HEATHEN album, now on Roadrunner, and unfortunately for them it came out at a time when there was a beautifully disgusting and horrid epidemic sometimes known as the "Stockholm syndrome" at least for us in underground Metal, infecting many of our brains. I am sure, like me, many of you purchased that CD or cassette, but didn't give it the proper listening it required or the time of it, cause we were salivating at the next thing to come from Scandinavia! Then HEATHEN broke up, got back together and released a covers album that I could give a flying fuck about! Release original music, I said! And finally here it is: "The Evolution Of Chaos". We start off with an old nemesis of mine: the more than 15 seconds intro which is an actually very well played Middle Eastern like piece... but it gets tiring after 25 seconds! Ah, but then thrasherama ensues on 'Control By Chaos'! Not very fast Thrash though, it's what I call "lazy" Thrash as the beat is fast, but not very! Although Darren Minter is anything but lazy as he proceeds to pound almost all the pieces on his drumkit to great effect, great thrashing opening song! But what is very noticeable is the perceptible change in David White's vocals! He sounds 85% nothing like he used to. He reminds me now of John Bush! And even though Mr. Bush's vocals are not entirely to my taste, David White's vox fit the music now better in its gruffness (compared to the soaring ultra melodic vocals before). It's a bit more modern but not to worry, it's not "Nu" ok?! What happened? Did he change his voice to fit the more modern times or did his voice naturally change, becoming richer, darker more the voice of a man as opposed to the kid who recorded the high soaring vocals of "Breaking The Silence"? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the latter... the riffing of Lee Altus and Kragen Lum is sufficiently crunchy and the solos still classy yet thrashin' (the guitarwork in general is simply not of this earth - it's just incredibly great! - Frank). The bass of Mr. Jon Torres, I'm sure it's well played and he is a superb musician but it is not to my liking as it reminds of rubber bands... Now 'No Stone Unturned' comes on and I am pissed off! Why do bands have to bring it down, slow it down on their second song?! Oh wait, I was wrong, as they come back at us with a fuckin rifferama assault that satisfies the thrashingest hunger. Then they have some other midpaced songs that are good but I prefer the speedier numbers!! Then they go all crunchy with a start stop riff in 'Arrows Of Agony' and some of you might cry foul thinking this is close to a PANTERA? Nu Metal bullshit thing but now please remember that all those Nu Metal assholes took all those heavy start stop riffs from Thrash and put them in their bullshit songs! So do not confuse this HEATHEN song with that other garbage! I like this song and I think it works! The riffing... mmmmm, tasty fuckin' Thrash! So, if somewhat melodic but not wimpy Thrash is your cup of beer, check this out most definitely! It'll be released on January 25, 2010. For all further info go to www.myspace.com/heathenmetal, www.mascotrecords.com

Luis M.L. Sallard

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