Heathen - 2005 Demo review
|Release date:||August 2005|
01. Empty Nothingness
02. Dying Season
03. Arrows Of Agony
It's been some 17 years since Heathen put out their last full length - the technically fascinating "Victims of Deception" which helped to put a more virtuoso spin on a slowing Bay Area scene. Now jump ahead to 2005, and Heathen unleashes a demo which seems to have been frozen in time! Though short, just over 19 minutes, this demo seems to pack all the power of a full length into just three songs! This demo is chalk full of neck breaking riffs, blinding solos, pummeling drums, and David White's classic screams.
A few notes on the members - even with the loss of Atlus' brother in crime Doug Piercy, this band doesn't seem to slow down a step. Kragen Lum, the guitarist of both Psychosis and Prototype, steps up to the plate and performs brilliantly. Jon Torres, the bassist of such legendary acts as Angel Witch and Ulysses Siren, makes his presence felt even though the bass production is a little flat, while drummer Mark Hernandez of Technocracy proves he is very competent behind the kit. The songs themselves have a nice pace, and while fairly long, each being over six minutes, they seem to fly by before your eyes. The demo opens up with "Arrows of Agony" slowly, then kicks you in the face with full force. "Dying Season" sets a much more classic Bay Area mood and "Empty Nothingness" ends with a fantastic solo.
Production wise the demo is quite clear, even though it may seem a little stale and/or treble heavy to some. In my opinion, setting bass higher in the mix would have definitely given this demo a lot more heaviness. However, that's really my only complaint on the producing side of things. Songwriting and performance wise, these guys are spot on. Fast, heavy, technical - all the ingredients to make great Thrash Metal. This kind of music really brings you back to the early days and for those of us not old enough to remember them, they definitely show us how it's done!
Those three songs are up for listening on their Myspace so make sure to check them out while they're there. However, with a new album in the works, one can only wonder if these legends can keep up what they're known for - technical Thrash Metal.
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