Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 1/27/2004
For Whom The Gods Would Destroy
posted on 2/2004 By:
Writing reviews kind of worries me. After you hear enough of the sound-the-same bullshit bands it just stands to reason you will start to get hypercritical from a personal standpoint. You have to listen to all the records, the good, the bad, and the overwhelmingly vast amount of mediocre products at least three times to get a measure of what you are hearing. You will get tired of the stuff that used to crank you when you were a poor sap buying records like everyone else. That's a real problem with critics, I believe. There is a difference between what we get to hear and what most people get to hear. If you could hear all the stuff critics do, you would get the same way.
So I work hard to try and stay grounded in my barely a record-a-month days, scrounging used racks, reading fifty top ten lists to try to get an idea of what was worth my month's worth of spending money to buy...and I think I do a fair job. But that is really for you to decide.
But sometimes you have to listen to something that, even if you try to look at it a different way, traps you from the get-go with the opinion that you are listening to something...poor, contrived, and built to appeal. It's not so much to fans of a kind of music, but the ones who really don't know what's out there, who maybe just got over their Damaged fandom and latched on to the edgier, heavier sounds of a Killswitch Engage, say. In fact, if you took the sung parts of KE and made a band out of just those parts...well, you might get something like Herod.
And if you added some of the most disturbingly scattershot riffing and drumming and guitarists who sound like they WANT to shred, but have spent the last ten years not shredding and are now shreddingly handicapped...and songwriting that can't tell if wants to pay homage to Iron Maiden or Shades Apart...well you might get something like Herod.
The thing is, ever since I heard Last Serenade by Killswitch, I knew what was coming. And Herod are the vanguard of the invasion. Call it post-nu, or mediocore. A proclaimed love for the eighties power and thrash scene, combined with a decade of watered down popmetal, but given a slight urgency by a touch of hardcore. OK, it's not a bad idea I guess, but this sounds...thrown together. A hurried attempt to be one of the wave catchers before the scene erupts and becomes played out. I mean, it's entirely probable that all these guys are truly trying to capture the spirit of eighties style metal. But instead of sounding road worn and time tested, they sound confused and disoriented, like a sixteen year old fresh from getting his driver's licence trying to compete in the Daytona 500.
There are pluses. The production is rich and crisp, although the singer is far too up in the mix. And when the band hits its groove, they can be quite compelling. It's not a bad bunch of musicians. They CAN play. And singer's voice, despite sounding hackneyed before the fact, is at least capable and emotive.
Bottom Line: What I am trying to say is I feel like I am hearing the next big thing and I don't like it. At least not the way it's being presented here. There is a good band on this disc, with a shitload of potential, but they are not going to achieve it doing what they are here. They already sound bland and overdone after just three listens. It will be a shame if this is all they ever accomplish, but maybe it's all they really want. Time will tell. As for this CD? Not for me.
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