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Heretoir - Heretoir CD (album) cover

HERETOIR

Heretoir

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.09 | 4 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Heretoir' - Heretoir (6/10)

Lately in the black metal scene, there has been a recent sound developing. Arguably brought to the limelight by the French band Alcest, this style- called 'blackgaze' by some- has been picking up some speed over the past couple of years. Taking depressive black metal and pairing it with the ethereal sounds of shoegaze music and post-rock, many of the bands have been quite successful in giving that otherwordly, melancholic sound that has drawn me to this budding style. In this sense, German blackgaze band Heretoir is nothing I haven't heard before; anyone who has heard a depressive black metal band with post-rock undertones will know what to expect here. While this band's sound is anything but original though, it doesn't stop Heretoir from creating a moving album that is quick to tug on one's heartstrings.

Although the band has released a couple of minor releases before this, this is going to be the first time most people have ever heard of Heretoir. Here, the sound is close in tone, production and mood to bands like Lantlos and Coldworld. Instead of an overtly dark, malefic approach that much black metal seems to take, Heretoir's sound instead shifts towards the contrary. The feeling of despair and melancholia is here, but there is a great sense of hope in the sound. The songwriting is fairly generic and predictable, but it does work very well. In terms of the band's composition here, the direction and approach of each track is fairly straightforward; a few measures into each idea, one can generally figure out where each eeb and flow of Heretoir's sound will occur. Instead, the beauty here is in the way Heretoir arranges sounds beautifully together, taking some overdone but effective chord progressions and layering them with otherworldly guitar tones and flourishes.

In terms of mixing and execution of the music, Heretoir gives a fairly mixed bag here. On one hand, the otherwise low fidelity of the mixing is amped up with plenty of detail, especially in the clean guitar tones. Things can be heard clearly, and it does sound like a fairly professional release. A negative side of this is the drums, which sometimes sound like they really work for the album's heavier moments (especially the album's highlight track 'Weltschmerz'), but otherwise feel feel incredibly basic and bland. The vocals here range from a suicidal shriek to spoken word ambiance and some pleasant clean vocals that might sound a little too similar to Alcest's Neige.

A beautiful album to listen to in any case, Heretoir still feels as if they are paying homage to the pioneers, rather than attempting to move past them.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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