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Heretoir – Heretoir (Reissue) Award winner

Heretoir (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 January 2023, 6:43 AM

From Bandcamp, “HERETOIR’s” self-titled debut-album "Heretoir" deals with the topic of loss: A protagonist loses a beloved person and goes through different emotional and psychological phases in order to cope with it. Accordingly, the lyrics reflect the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist and give an insight into the fine line between sorrow, hate and hope. The album has nine songs.

“The Escape – Part I” opens the album. It’s a short, mood-setting instrumental. The mood is melancholy, and somewhat sad. This could be just after the subject feels the loss of someone they love. “Fatigue” is what sets in when you consider everything that has to be done after someone dies…the wake, the funeral, the obituary, and other things…all while you feel numb and totally drained of energy. The harmonized clean vocals are key to the sound here, but the harsh vocals also reflect the agonizing sense of loss. This is cold and depressing Black Metal with a good dose of Post elements.

“Retreat to Hibernate” reflects the sentiment after the funeral is finally over. You just want to crawl into a hole for a week. This is exactly what I did after the unexpected loss of my beloved mother. The clean guitar tones are so wonderfully despondent. It reminds me of a succession of grey, rainy days. “Weltschmerz” translates to a feeling of melancholy, and weariness. The harsh vocals and slow pace are what carries that feeling forward. “Graue Bauten” means “grey buildings” in English, and reflects a feeling of abandonment. This music is gut-wrenching, and if you can’t feel the themes interwoven into the music, you might want to quit listening to music altogether.

“The Escape – Part II” is a short segue to the remaining two songs, and is devastatingly sad. “To Follow the Sun” is probably the part in the tale where you are starting to feel better, or at least, good enough to drag yourself out of bed and face the day. The vocals reflect the bitter feelings that linger. The lengthy title track closes the album, at over ten-minutes. Clean, melancholy tones open the song, with some lead runs. Agonizing harsh vocals play with sad cleans, it a fight to the death. The ambient passages in the song run down your spine with tingling effects. There is a long pause, signifying the terrible silence one feels after the loss of a loved one, followed by clean guitars and ambient vocals to completion.

What a beautiful album overall. The themes are easy to follow because the music reflects them so well. Originally released over ten years ago, the sound and the messages are still very relevant today. Who is alive who hasn’t had to go through the loss of a loved one? The music is very bleak, but also very elegant and beautiful. Mirror your own loss through the journey of songs on “Heretoir.” If you can’t find parallels or anything that strikes a chord, you might want to just pack it in here and now, for there is no absolution for you.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Escape - Part I
2. Fatigue
3. Retreat to Hibernate
4. 0
5. Weltschmerz
6. Graue Bauten
7. The Escape - Part II
8. To Follow the Sun
9. Heretoir
Eklatanz – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Composition, Programming
Record Label: AOP Records


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