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Heterochrome – From the Ashes

Heterochrome
From the Ashes
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 April 2022, 3:23 PM

HETEROCHROME started when Arash Rezaei, and Mida Malek met and collaborated as the lead guitarist and vocalist in 2014. The band started recording their first album in Tehran, Iran when Mohammad Mirboland joined as drummer in 2016 followed by Armin Afzali on bass and Amir Taghavi on rhythm guitar who joined later on during the band rehearsals. The band now consisting of guitarist Arash, vocalist Mida, and drummer Mohammad has developed a different sound for their second album "From The Ashes", with lyrics and music pointing out social and political issues of both their home country Iran, such as incarceration and criminalization of the metal genre, sexual identity and female singing, and on a larger scale, the world, such as the climate change dilemma. The album contains ten tracks.

“ب رای ف ردا (Baraye Farda, For Tomorrow)” opens the album. It begins with clean guitar tones and bass, leading to a slightly harder riff. The vocals are not sung in English, which is no big deal, just something to note. The vocals switch off from male to female, but the melodies connect in an odd way for the most part. “ ب ادب ادک (Badbadak, The Flight)” begins with a rougher riff and clean vocals. The drums thunder away in the background, followed by some harsh vocals. It takes an ambient pause before returning with harsh sounds again. “Rage Against the People” opens with a fairly simple riff combined with more harsh vocals. Clean female vocals follow but again there is little connection to melody in general.

“WOTB” opens with a solemn melody and some emotional lead guitar work. They seem to have a better idea here of how to string along a good hook. They also are successful at shifting the meter a couple times. “The Bearing” begins with more clean guitars and melancholy vibes. Mida’s vocals are smooth and satisfying. I can honestly do without the harsh vocals however. They just don’t add much to the music. “Transition” is just that…a short transitional piece that connects to the second half of the album. Ambient tones mostly occupy this song, with some clean male vocals. “Time’s Up” is another short song, featuring mostly clean guitars and vocals. It’s a statement on the sad affairs of the world right now…especially the political issues of their home country.

“Through Evil Within” opens with clean vocals and a hardened riff that hears harsh vocals join in. Again, the connection to the melodies is elementary at best. At times, they seem like they are headed in the right direction, but usually veer off the path. “سرگ ردان (Sargardan, Wanderer)” is another short song that opens with harmonized vocals done in monotone for effect. I understand the expression of the harsh vocals and why there are present, but I just don’t like them. “The Outlaw” closes the album. It’s unfortunately another miss for the most part. There are moments when I think they are able to piece it all together but they never quite get there.

I hate to say it, but the band’s messages are much better than their songwriting. They really struggle to put into music what is no doubt very active in their minds. It could be because they are a relatively new band. They have some talent, but it’s a matter of showcasing it in their music. The bass player for example has some nice hooks, and the female singer has a nice voice. Showcase more of that, and they might be onto something. I really hate giving such a low score to a struggling band, but that is my job as a reviewer.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. ب رای ف ردا (Baraye Farda, For Tomorrow)
2. ب ادب ادک (Badbadak, The Flight)
3. Rage Against the People
4. WOTB
5. The Bearing
6. Transition
7. Time’s Up
8. Through Evil Within
9. سرگ ردان (Sargardan, Wanderer)
10. The Outlaw
Lineup:
Mohammadreza (Arash) Rezaei – Guitars, Vocals, Synthesizer
Mida Malek – Vocals
Mohammad Mirboland – Drums
Ville Veihola – Electric Bass
Lisa Yihwan Lim – Cello
Record Label: Independent
     


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