Review Summary: A marriage of old and new.“Don't forget who you are and where you come from.”
A short quote by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, but despite its short length it’s very powerful. It’s a reminder that newer doesn’t always equal better. But at the same time it reminds you dwell in the past either.
Meet I Am Heresy
, a modern Metalcore band that’s on the one side firmly rooted into the more chaotic origins of the genre, but at the same time also into the melodic side of the genre that’s currently at reign, and all of this is coupled with an outspoken knack for genre blending. The band takes a heavy influence from Metalcore veterans such as Converge
, but at the same time also from current acts like BoySetsFire
and Bury Tomorrow
“The death of God is the birth of human potential”
I Am Heresy
is founded by Nathan Gray
) “to live out his love for dark, violent noise"
. Something Gray & co did not try and hide. The entire album is drenched in a dark atmosphere, one rarely seen in the Metalcore genre. Lyrics and references about Satanism and witchcraft are common, but subtle enough to allow the band to use it as more than a gimmick.
Helmsman Nathan Gray is by far the most impressive member of the band. Delivering a performance that’s far more consistent and powerful than his work with BoySetsFire
. His stand-out clean vocals have always been impressive, but it’s his new assortment of snarls, shouts, growls and even occasional shrieks (like in the song Rahabh
) that really steal the show. Sounding more varied than ever, he easily acts as the backbone of the entire album.
Instrumentally the rest of the band are no slouches either! From the immediate aggression of album opener “Rahabh”
, the tremolo picking in “Our Father”
, the melodic sections of “March Of Black Earth”
and even the multiple acoustic songs are all well thought out and executed. The band does not fear shaking up the standard formula found in the genre and they utilize opportunity offered to include other genres in the concoction of old and new. Crossover thrash can be found in songs like “Destruction Anthems “
and “Thy Will II (Black Sun Omega)”
, while “Seven Wolves And The Daughters Of Apocalypse”
showcase a more progressive metal song structure. Also, don’t forget about the aforementioned acoustic songs “Thy Will I (Black Sun Alpha)”
, “Hinnom I (Altar Of Fire & Earth)”
and the Black Metal-inspired riffs found in “Devour”
Yet, despite all that I Am Heresy
succeeds at with Thy Will
, the album suffers from a couple of glaring flaws that prevent the album of being more than “great”.
Smaller problems include a strange album flow. Unlike Converge
’s Axe To Fall –an album with some obvious parallels- Thy Will switches the mood and pace with every song, drastic changes like transition between the acoustic “Thy Will I”
’s and “Thy Will II”
’s heavier crossover thrash-riffs don’t do the album any favor. These smaller conceptual oversights could have been forgiven if I Am Heresy
was a band without any past experience, or if it was the only flaw the album suffered from. Which sadly, is not.
Thy Will greatest flaw, by far. Which consequently leaves it as a wolf without claws and teeth, is its production. The paper thin, way to polished production found on many new Metalcore albums. Not only does it rob the instruments of their power and impact, it also negates most of the darker atmosphere the band was aiming for. The melodic sections don’t suffers as much, but I doubt this band has the intention of being “just” a melodic metalcore band. A more raw and organic production –akin to Converge
’s Axe To Fall or All We Love We Leave Behind- would not only have drastically improved the quality of the album, but it would also left it way more meaningful and with far more impact. Instead of a slightly darker, less melodic BoySetsFire
album it sound like now.
“Never stop fighting, never give in!”
A strange album flow and poor, overproduced production bring down an otherwise outstanding album. At first the album will conjure up violent images of a great menacing wolf, but for those who stay long enough will notice the wolf’s lack of claws and teeth, making the experience far less thrilling and engaging that it could have been. 3,5/5