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Heretic - A Game You Cannot Win

A Game You Cannot Win
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 15 September 2017, 5:48 PM

Is it a comeback celebration? Or did we have it already five years ago? Sometimes I just can’t understand why to make such a thing out of a five-year difference between albums, especially when the artist didn’t go on an apparent hiatus or disbanded and reactivated. Nonetheless, let’s not be harsh here, as every Heavy Metal act has its reasons for not putting up albums year after year or once in two years like clockwork. Therefore, coming forward with a new album, what seemed to me like out of nowhere, is a good sign that things might, and I have to put a bold on the “might” term, would remain steady from now on. So the US Metal band HERETIC, yes the one from the 80s, are back with their third album, the successor for sophomore released back in 2012. Freshly signed to the British Dissonance Productions, the band’s perspective of when things are going south was unraveled within “A Game You Cannot Win”, prepare yourself for a small bash party.

HERETIC’s pattern of music has always been a tread on the classic mode, delivering the goods in the vein some of the favorites as METAL CHURCH / VICIOUS RUMORS / REVEREND / MELIAH RAGE / LAAZ ROCKIT / FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. Truth be told, I only took a small bite out of the previously issued “A Time Of Crisis”, more than enough in order to recapture the modernized spirit of the band. Back in the late 80s, they really put out a show of force, sailing the waves of the US Metal sea quite smoothly, and with METAL CHURCH’s Mike Howe at the helm no less.

Without keeping up the dwelling in the past, “A Game You Cannot Win” brought over a much tougher message, tightly gripping both their US Power and Thrash Metal union, under the cloak of a well sound produced venture. In sound terms, it shared similarities in clarity and polish of one of the recent OVERKILL albums. No doubt that this is a kind of sound pattern that would keep the addiction in check. Furthermore, while not being overly prolific, the band composed riffs that are a pure celebration of the old American legacy, which has been trying to lift up its ugly head for years now. Certainly, none would put to shame the old relics. That fine edge between subgenres, is well reserved. The addition of a few groovy moves, even capitalized the efforts further. Alongside the riffing, “A Game You Cannot Win” also shared British styled melodies, which are a fine contrast to the heavy weight riffery.

When it comes to the songwriting, it seemed to be more of the same, a traditional direction that would never change. Nothing generic of course, but a simple case of clinging hard to what is already known and used. HERETIC delivered aggression that fit well to the song themes, which transpired as less optimistic per se. The MOTORHEAD inspired “Master At Her Game”, the heavy riffed “Annihilate” and deeply emotive “Broken Hero” displayed various angles of the band, forged in good quality. The self-titled, “A Game You Cannot Win” and the what would appear as the upcoming apocalypse “Before The Fall” molested the mind in their own special way.

Though I don’t like it when the saying of “It doesn’t come any closer to the debut” is in order, but I will try to minimize it a bit. “A Game You Cannot Win” is above the solid export out of this band, an immensely heavy hammer that strikes hard both on the neck and infects the mind. It may not be in the vicinity of the late 80s flick, but it directs into positivity, effort wise.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. This World Called Hell
3. A Game You Cannot Win
4. Demonized
5. Broken Hero
6. Never Added Up
7. Relentless
8. Before The Fall
9. Master At Her Game
10. Immaculate Deception
11. Annihilate
12. Everything’s About To Change
13. Outro
Julian Mendez - Vocals
Brian Korban - Guitars
Angelo Espino - Bass
Stuart Fujinami - Guitars
Ignazio "Iggy" Coppola - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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