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Hero's Last Rite - The Mirror's Face

Hero's Last Rite
The Mirror's Face
by Matt Coe at 12 June 2014, 11:38 AM

Hailing from the capital city Fredericton in the New Brunswick province of Canada, HERO’S LAST RITE has been together since 2008, and to be clear four of the five members also played together in a previous Progressive/ Heavy Metal band OBSIDIAN REIGN that released a full length album “Persevere” in 2006. So understand this quintet has a lot of seasoned veterans, and this second full length “The Mirror’s Face” proves they are very adept as creating vibrant songs and capturing their sound more than adequately in the studio.

The band perform a great cross section of Power/Thrash that definitely has strong modern overtones. TESTAMENT circa “The Gathering” forward, NEVERMORE and SLAYER would be the three strongest influences that I can take from their style. Steve McDonald as a vocalist has a fierce, raw raspy nature that when he decides to be a little cleaner or more refined comes off in a Chuck Billy way, but you can tell in songs such as “I Am Atomic” and “Viral Judgement” his love for Phil Anselmo and Tom Araya also factors in. As a drummer Dan Rogers balances a lot of standard old school thrash beats with certain new school nuances of semi-blasting and crossover fill parts – his style being fluid and highly entertaining on “Plague” just as much as a darker, twisted offering like the semi-melodic death track “Blind Eye Compromise”.

Standouts are numerous. The guitar buildups from Mike Davidson and Tim Gorman and stop/ start action for “Save it For My Ghost”, the heads down power surge battering ram that is “Realign” on through to the reflective opening title track that includes quieter, clean guitar lines at times – HERO’S LAST RITE keep the focus on being aggressive and musically savvy while also throwing in the necessary melodic nuances or arrangement twists to hold listener interest. And I’m very thankful that the band’s self-production skills keep the product in a natural mold – I feel the snare cracks, the electric guitar bends, and vocal screams reaching through the speakers.

“The Mirror’s Face” should serve a dual purpose in attain a wide following – there’s enough punishing action for the newcomers to slam away while also giving the old schoolers a reminder of what made the Power/Thrash movement so thrilling and exciting in the early to mid-1980’s.

4 Star Rating

1. The Mirror’s Face
2. Generation Why
3. Viral Judgement
4. Plague
5. I Am Atomic
6. Mechanism
7. Realign
8. The Voice of Guilt
9. Blind Eye Compromise
10. What I Long For
11. Save It For My Ghost
Steve McDonald – Vocals
Mike Davidson – Guitars
Tim Gorman – Guitars
Paul Vidal – Bass
Dan Rogers – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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