Rating:
9.1
Heathen - Breaking The Silence
1987


01. Death By Hanging
02. Goblin's Blade
03. Open The Grave
04. Pray For Death
05. Set Me Free [Sweet cover]
06. Breaking The Silence
07. Worlds End
08. Save The Skull
09. Heathen [bonus]


Heathen is positively one of, if not the most underrated of the Bay Area Thrash bands formed in the 80's. Breaking The Silence is an excellent debut album I can recommend to both fans of the "extreme" and "melodic" sub-genres. This is definitely one of my top melodic thrash releases of all time. These guys have got some serious chops; it surprises me that they are almost never mentioned when people talk about their favorite bands. They play with a cleaner, melodic, less aggressive sound than other thrash bands of the era, but they will still have you banging your head along to the tracks all the same.

Though not as aggressive as many thrash bands of the time, the performance on this one is really nice. The vocals are also not too aggressive for a Bay Area Thrash band, but not too soft. David Godfrey sings like Bruce Dickinson at times, both have slightly drawn out opera-like vibrato, though Godfrey's is much less pronounced, Dickinson was definitely an influence. Sometimes I think he might even be singing in a British accent like in "Goblins Blade," "Breaking the Silence," and on the bonus track "Heathen." The drumming is awesome; Carl Sacco is a very precise, tight and highly skilled drummer he is definitely a standout among the drummers in the 80's bay metal bands. Lee Atlus and Doug Piercy are both very technically sound guitarists. They play the typically aggressive Bay Area Thrash riffs and infuse some melody along the way. I'm an addict for solos and this album is full of the fix I need. Check Out "Worlds End" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Their playing is definitely what takes the album to that next level for me. The production is a bit jumbled and yet again I can't hear the bass a lot of the time, but it's excellent for a late eighties release and a debut album at that.

So, all-in-all the album has a lot to offer metal fans of all tastes and preferences. The songs are very catchy with a nice rhythm to them, the playing is very technical and advanced and there is still that certain "rage channeling" and darkness you come to expect from thrash. An overlooked and underrated classic from an overlooked and underrated band.

Favorite Tracks: "Worlds End," "Open The Grave," "Pray For Death," "Save The Skull For Last"

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Heathen
Album: Breaking The Silence


 


written by Death To Posers | 12.02.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Huntteri - 13.02.2011 at 11:16  
Very nice album, but I would give it 8/10 because in my opinion vocals lack some power
Death To Posers - 13.02.2011 at 19:27  
Written by Huntteri on 13.02.2011 at 11:16

Very nice album, but I would give it 8/10 because in my opinion vocals lack some power


That's understandable, the vocals are definitely the weak point. Sounds like another Belladonna wannabe trying to sound like Bruce Dickinson. I still loved everything else about the album, pretty close to perfect for me.
Huntteri - 14.02.2011 at 09:42  
Written by Death To Posers on 13.02.2011 at 19:27

Written by Huntteri on 13.02.2011 at 11:16

Very nice album, but I would give it 8/10 because in my opinion vocals lack some power


That's understandable, the vocals are definitely the weak point. Sounds like another Belladonna wannabe trying to sound like Bruce Dickinson. I still loved everything else about the album, pretty close to perfect for me.


I agree, but the next album in my opinion is far superior
Death To Posers - 14.02.2011 at 10:20  
Written by Huntteri on 14.02.2011 at 09:42

Written by Death To Posers on 13.02.2011 at 19:27

Written by Huntteri on 13.02.2011 at 11:16

Very nice album, but I would give it 8/10 because in my opinion vocals lack some power


That's understandable, the vocals are definitely the weak point. Sounds like another Belladonna wannabe trying to sound like Bruce Dickinson. I still loved everything else about the album, pretty close to perfect for me.


I agree, but the next album in my opinion is far superior



That album is AS good to me, both are some of my favorites of all time. The second album is definitely more polished though.
Huntteri - 14.02.2011 at 10:35  
Yeah, Heathen is one of the few thrash bands that have never released a bad record in their entire career (other such bands are Defiance, Vio-lence, Epidemic and Flotsam&Jetsam, but that is just my opinion again )
Jan - 05.03.2011 at 21:18  
Had never checked this band out - but did so after this review - and I really like what I hear.

Downloading (iTunes) Evolution of Chaos as I write this - and will be on the lookout for Breaking the Silence.

Good review - thanks
Death To Posers - 06.03.2011 at 03:54  
Written by Jan on 05.03.2011 at 21:18

Had never checked this band out - but did so after this review - and I really like what I hear.

Downloading (iTunes) Evolution of Chaos as I write this - and will be on the lookout for Breaking the Silence.

Good review - thanks


Glad you enjoyed the album and the review. Always a pleasure to shed light on some lesser known gems.

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