I've seriously considered half a dozen albums here, and at the moment I'm feeling sufficiently bullish to give you something a little heavier. Apologies in advance if it's too hard on some of your ears.Heathen - The Evolution of Chaos (2010)Genre(s): Thrash metalTracklisting:
- Dying Season
- Control by Chaos
- No Stone Unturned
- Arrows of Agony
- Fade Away
- A Hero's Welcome
- Red Tears of Disgrace
- Silent Nothingness
Comebacks are so common in metal that to not make one is almost newsworthy. Few however are quite as spectacular as this.
In the 1980s, Heathen were at the epicentre of the Southern Californian and especially San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal movement which launched Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth to international superstardom and gave the likes of Testament, Exodus and Forbidden a shot at decent careers. For others such as Dark Angel, Possessed and of course Heathen, it offered a glimpse of success before they faded into that special kind of obscurity where people call you highly influential, but it doesn't pay the bills.
The whys and wherefores are documented elsewhere, but it came to pass that after two minor thrash classics in 1987 and 1991, Heathen's third album finally saw release in 2010 (or very late 2009 in Japan, but I'm not counting that).
I'll break my self-imposed rule here and talk about the music. The Evolution of Chaos
is a fitting title for an album that harkens back to the genre-defining records of the 80s whilst fully embracing the opportunities of crystal clear modern production techniques and their maturation as songwriters. It's more than a little reminiscent of Metallica's Ride the Lightning
, but with a 21st century sound and more proficient musicianship.
The eleven minute epic "No Stone Unturned" starts out in the vein of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" before taking some surprising twists and turns. Indeed, for those hoping Metallica would return to their early glories (at which Death Magnetic
was an admirable attempt), Heathen have matched and surpassed them here.
Oh, and they made one of the most hilariously awful low budget music videos ever.Music video: