Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos review
|Album:||The Evolution Of Chaos|
|Release date:||December 2009|
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
The last half decade saw the rise of Thrash-rehash. A bunch of bands picked up their axes and started paying tribute to 80's thrash.. and 2010 has seemingly seen the return of the old guard, with Exodus and Overkill both putting out some really good albums.
Add Heathen to that list.
Evolution Of Chaos is the band's first full length in 19 years. And despite two decades of sitting in a Bay Area garage, Heathen shows no rust with their relaunch.
Following a sitar intro provided by guest musician Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus and more other bands than you have fingers), Heathen blaze forth out of the gate with tons of crunchy riffs, galloping riffs, and droves of solos.
Speaking of droves, one of my criticisms of Heathen's kissing cousin, Exodus was the length of their newest. Evolution Of Chaos is almost every bit as long as Exhibit B, however the band has a more melodic approach, trading in the brutality for some intricate melodies that make this release far less taxing a listen. Their style is almost a marriage between thrash and 80's US power metal, a blend of aggression mixed with some catchy melody.
Songs like "Dying Season," "Control By Chaos" and "Fade Away" are fantastic thrashy numbers that provide an instant spark of energy, but the album is also interspersed with mid-paced numbers or sections of songs that keep the energy if not at red-line intensity at all times.
I do think there is a bit of "fade away" on the album, as it's a bit front-loaded with the back five songs not being quite as good as the five that open the record. "A Hero's Welcome" is a ballad tribute to the common soldier, which is a mighty ballsy thing to do for a band that hails from the militantly anti-military SF area. While I appreciate the sentiment, it is sappy in it's execution. The remaining tracks that close the album after the let-off are all pretty good as well, but don't quite recapture the fire of the first five.
And no review would be complete without mention of the epic "No Stone Unturned" - an 11 minute piece that evolves from a slow crushing march over six minutes into a quiet, clean section, finally ramped up until a double-time crushing end. It sounds like it would be right at home on Metallica's "...And Justice For All...", only it is far better orchestrated than some of the monolithic tracks on that release. Oh, and you can hear the bass.
In addition to sitar and some fretless bass by Steve DiGiorgio, the album also saw guest spots from Lee Altus' mates in Exodus, with Rob Dukes providing some pipework and Gary Holt laying down a lead in "Control By Chaos".
All in all this is a really good return from one of the Bay Area scene's lesser known gems and is recommended to all thrash fans.
||Written on 04.08.2010 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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