Release DetailsLABEL Xtreem Music
RELEASED ON 3/15/2004
Chemistry For The Soul
posted on 7/2004 By:
Originally released in 2002 on Iberian Moon, these Spaniards signed to Xtreem Music, which in turn added five live bonus tracks and reissued this rather promising little Spanish number. Now I’m going to mention a few bands now, and I don’t want you to freak out, OK? Borknagar, Lunaris, Asterius, Rakoth. Now, The Heretic are ways off from being as great as those bands, but I mention them because The Heretic play the same kind of progressive, serpentine and often otherworldly black metal as those bands.
At its base level Chemistry For the Soul is symphonic black metal, as there are keyboards, Nordic guitars and rasped vocals, but synth player Aphengouza changes up styles from song to song, not by choice but to keep up with The Heretic’s continually shifting style. Middle Eastern snake charming (“Eden in Venom”), futuristic interludes (“Atom”), delicate Hammond laced intimacy (“Dead Hearts In Living Men”) and flat out black metal spite (“The Hate Revolution 2002 AD”, “Shake of Fever”) all surface on this ambitious but often convoluted album. If anything, the album’s inclusion of a myriad of styles swirling together is the only real detriment, as when broke down, each of the individual songs are solid compositions. It’s just when they try to flow together as a full entity it’s like a sonic jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces.
When rarely stripped of all the extraneous influence and delivery some straight forward progressive (Yes I know, that’s a wicked oxymoron) blackened metal, as heard on the finely crafted “Diesel Motor Soil”, the talent of the band shines through all the other stuff to show The Heretic are capable of having an identity of their own when dropping some of the overly quirky characteristics, namely the keyboard work. For example, some synth work arises smack in the middle of “Love’s Dreadful as Death” that’s straight out of a 50’s Scifi horror film.
There’s tons of promise on Chemistry For the Soul, even more so when you consider that it was actually written and recorded back in 2002, but you have to sift through a lot of obtrusive stuff to get to the skill lying underneath. I also hate to generalize, but Spain is hardly a hotbed of forward thinking metal, and clearly The Heretic have the ability to compete in the big leagues with some fine tuning. Guitarists Carlo IV and Phaernan weave some deft melodies as heard on “Have a Nice Day!” as well as some complex time signatures. However, as of right now, their music comes across as somewhat a novelty, but I do look forward to their upcoming third album to see if they can put Spain on the progressive black metal map.
I should also note that the 5 live tracks from their prior albums are of an exceptionally high quality, almost to the point where, upon the initial listen, I had a hard time defining it from the studio material.
Register to post comments.