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Herod - Sombre Dassein

Sombre Dassein
by Martin Knap at 19 February 2019, 5:20 PM

Sludgy Post-Metal? Now that’s the kind of modern Metal that I can get behind.  NEUROSIS, CULT OF LUNA, THE OCEAN – yes please, sir. One of those bands is my all-time favorite and one released one of my last year’s favorite records. HEROD are a Swiss band that so far have one full-length release under their belt. For the sophomore release they’ve recruited former THE OCEAN vocalist Mike Pilat, who also plays guitar. Compared to CULT OF LUNA and THE OCEAN, HEROD play really heavy music. Soundscape-like, atmospheric sections and melodic hooks typical for Post-Metal are present in their songs obviously, but they crushing heaviness predominates.

First song “Fork Tongue” opening is slow and heavy, with vitriolic vocals delivered over an ominous, dissonant riff. After a brief atmospheric section with a gradual build-up a section with a very groovy, catchy riffs comes in. The intensity wanes and then reaches a climax one more time at the end. I love the heavy, bouncy grooves of in the beginning of the following song “Reckoning”. After the opening comes a dreamy, mellow sections with clean vocals, after which the song’s intensity picks up again, progressing through shifting melodic and rhythmic patterns. Right in the middle of the album comes “Don’t Speak Last,” the longest song on the album. The song progresses nicely, one section flowing into another, there are super heavy, aggressive moments but also mellow sections with gradual buildups, as well as a nice clean vocal hook.

Silent Truth” shifts between MESHUGGA-esque syncopated chugs and polyrhythmic drumming and mellow parts with clean vocals backed by soft, tension-building drumming; the polyrhythmic phrases return later in the song as well. In “Mourning Grounds” dreamy melancholy clashes together with vitriol and aggression, the song has great vocal hook with a nice interplay between screamed and clean vocals. The album closes with one of the two long song on the album. It has a plodding start that slowly builds the tension up towards and explosive release, the song goes through this waxing and waning movement one more time. The song builds up to a big climax, and it’s nice to follow the changing rhythmic patterns, but as a whole is maybe too drawn out, even though it has standout moments. This is really my only bigger complaint about this album.

Overall, “Sombre Dassein” is a quality release. HEROD has a big sound, the grooves can be truly monstrous, the melodic hooks are memorable, their catchiness sometimes even reminds me of GOJIRA, the band’s playing is intricate in terms of rhythm and interplay between instruments, I dig the energy and aggression that this music has and both heavy and the soundscape-like parts have textural depth. It has some weaker parts – as I’ve noted above, the album looses me only at the very end a bit – that take away from the memorability, but I still see this as an excellent release. Fans of the bands mentioned in the opening paragraph shouldn’t hesitate and check this out.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Fork Tongue Intro
2. Fork Tongue
3. Reckoning
4. Don't Speak Last
5. Silent Truth
6. Mourning Grounds
7. There Will Be Gods

Mike Pilat – Vocals & Guitar
Pierre Carroz – Guitar & Bass
Bertrand Pot – Guitar
Fabien Vodoz – Drums

Record Label: Pelagic Records


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