Heron – Empires of Ash Review

Here we’ve got a band that takes very seriusly the thought that vocals on Extreme Metal doesn’t have to be understood. Jamie’s vocals are perfectly understandable most of the time during the five tracks of “Empires of Ash” where he does growls and roars and everything else intertwined with a vigorous and noisy Doom Metal wrapping. Metal music is extreme and I sometimes write exttreme things just to make you pay attention. Of course, when I say that I don’t mean that there aren’t vocals in the proper way. “Hungry Ghosts” and “With Dead Eyes” showcase eerie vocals with lots of an anger that isn’t common around Doom Metal. By the way, vigorous is the right term for what my dear child of the night will hear in this album. “Empires of Ash” sweeps away all the indolence of the style to the ground adding a truckload of the dense energy Extreme Metal delivers the fan.

The album makes its grand entrance with the fierce low-tuned “Rust and Rot” and its moody drumming. By the way, the drumming here sounds to be filling the spaces left by intervals of time between each guitar chord. Sometimes the intervals are enormeous and the drumming has the obligation of filling all the spaces. So, it’s the magistral opportunity for drummers to shine dark. My child of the night will soon notice the few, but effective, chords in the songs with its tonal guitars leading the way to a strong music. Some features, for instance bass lines and the drumming, adress to my very dear and the most unsung heroes of Metal music Cirith Ungol. As usual for the genre, Heron display lots of Black Sabbath influences. Ironically, the track that showscases the stronger spirit of Black Sabbath is the moody and somewhat acoustic “Hauntology” with its prominent bass lines and guitars that show up only by the third minute. It’s here that vocals are the most incomprehensible due to the way Jamie chose to pronounce the words. Here he tries to follow the song’s mood adapting the voice to each change. In this song my dear child of the niht will get to know exactly the effect of the drumming I told before. Pay attention to it carefully and the way the drummer uses his cymbals. For Doom standards, “Hungry Ghosts” is the track that really steps on it with its ‘fast’ guitar rifings. “Empires of Ash” is no standard album.“Empires of Ash” 

Heron “Empires of Ash” will be released on December 02nd via Sludgelord Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Rust and Rot
  2. The Middle Distance
  3. Hauntology
  4. Hungry Ghosts
  5. With Dead Eyes

Watch “With Dead Eyes” official video here: