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Heretics - Via Appia Award winner

Heretics
Via Appia
by James Brizuela at 24 October 2019, 6:12 AM

HERETICS, originally formed in Germany, in 2009. Even though the band formed in 2009, It has taken them 10 years to release their first full-length album in “Via Appia”. Drawing influences from bands like AMON AMARTH and KATAKLYSM, HERETICS found themselves to be a powerhouse of a death metal band. HERETICS is a monster of a melodic death metal band. You can immediately hear the AMON AMARTH influences in their music. The deep gutter growls of Fabian Marx carry over the purely melodic brutal sound of the instrumentation. I was really impressed by the tempo of the music being on the back end of the speed for usual death metal bands, but there is no loss of how powerful the music sounds.

I would say the only negative I have for the production, is that their instrumentation sounds a little quieter than I normally like to hear. However, the musical prowess of HERETICS is bar none. “Anything and Everything” starts the album off with a small instrumental that leads into a chant for the very next track. The intro has a very intense feeling that sets up the brutal sound that follows on the rest of the album. There is a very fantastical musical element that blends well with the punishing sound on “Via Appia”. The backing vocals ushering you to join in and hoist your battle-axe! At least that’s the feeling I got from the thematic elements. There is a whole lot to unpack in the sound immediately following the intro, that sound being provided by the track “Self-Preservation”. From the brutal crushing melodic sound of the tempo, to the high pitch wailing backing vocals, and impressive guitar work, it will come to no surprise that this band will be huge. The title track, “Via Appia”, offers up a better look at the higher tempo that HERETICS play with before leading back to the slower melodic sound. There is even a more thrashy sounding pickup in the tempo at the tail end of the track. There are a lot of elements that make their way into the overall sound of “Via Appia”.

Besides having some thrashy and punk like sound, there is some black metal elements that find their way into “The Scourge”. HERETICS is impressive, to say the least, in genre blending to add that complete melodic and brutal sound. “Talent for Violence” offers up the more prototypical sounding death metal sound. It is the first time there isn’t so much a melodic element to the music, but more of a just punishing sounding track. I can appreciate that HERETICS offers up this sound, sort of like a head nod to the old school predecessors. Even when I felt like I couldn’t be surprised even more by the musical prowess of this album, I got hit with the power/folk metal track in “With Thought as Weapons”. “Via Appia” is a surprisingly musically diverse death metal album that impresses from start to finish.

Via Appia” is a beautiful sounding, chunky, brutal, musically impressive album. HERETICS completely impressed me with the head knocking Melodic Death Metal sound they formed. Hopefully it does not take them another 10 years to release their next album. But, even if it does, I’ll still be waiting.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Anything and Everything
2. Self-Preservation
3. In the Name of Stupidity
4. Via Appia
5. The Scourge
6. Talent for Violence
7. With Thoughts as Weapons
8. From Grief to Hatred
9. From Hatred to Death
Lineup:
Fabian Marx – Vocals
Dennis Schnitzmeier – Guitars
Tim Lobner – Guitars
Thomas ‘Tony’ Langehenke – Drums
Santiago Vadillo Sánchez – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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