Heirs – Fowl   Leave a comment

This album with the strange artwork comes from a Australian band named Heirs and they are one of those bands that defy description except saying they are a post-rock, industrial, doom, drone, noise whatchamacallit band. If your find the album art on the outside a bit odd, things get even more perplexing on the inside with a picture of the band wearing white aprons on bird-nests. Add to that, a bright yellow CD and you could be forgiven for feeling nervous about what music is about to be unleashed upon your eardrums. The band’s debut “Alchera”  was labeled as one of the best Noise -Doom-Instrumental albums of 2009 but this is a big improvement over that release in my opinion so this deserves your attention if you dig this music of acquired taste. The seven tracks for the most part play out like one long-piece that occasionally is monotonous but there is plenty of highs on the disc that should appeal to fans of Swans, Godflesh, Isis and Neurosis. This album wont be for everyone however as the electronica-droning industrial doom tedium can get very repetitive in large doses. The album flows as an extended piece of music as the songs don’t present much variety and it is easy to forget what song you are up to in the playing order. It can used as a demented form of background music because if you are not paying attention, it is easy to have this album play all the way through before you realize what happened.

The album opens with “Dust,” an atmospheric chiller before moving into the title track and that takes up a large chunk of the album so if you have made this far, you are bound to love the rest of the recording. The music is dense and brooding but some of the passages seem to go nowhere in particular while still remaining very artistic and interesting. If that sounds like a confused comment, it is because “Heirs” are a perplexing band and I think that is exactly the effect they are searching for and they do that and more on “Fowl.” Rather than be heavy in sound, Heirs focus more on being heavy in dramatic moods although there some real crushing moments on the album. One of these is “Tyrant” which is dramatic just as much as it is heavy. Distortion, feedback and hypnotic drum patterns are all used to full effect, typical trademarks you may think for this kind of band but they are rarely used with such atmosphere as they are here. The songs here are cinematic is flavor and it is easy to float away, putting yourself in a movie-scene while listening to this but it is also a bit meandering so at times, so passages of the music can be forgettable. The best tracks are the ones I have already mentioned, the others are also good but are not as memorable. It will take several spins of this disc to fully appreciate its magic so I think that is why they get such mixed reactions from people. From quotes like “album-of-the-year” to “absolutely boring,” this band gets more mixed opinions that any other band I can think of at the moment.

This album is a hell of a trip, from start to finish if you are paying attention. If your mind wanders, you will miss the subtle passages which are really the highlights of the album. Check out the psychedelic elements in the title track, the ritualistic, tribal drumming in “Men” or the way they use controlled feedback to perfection in the track titled “Mother.” The way the guitar vibrates in “Drain” is also one of the mesmerizing features of the album along with its slowly climbing climax. The album also has the uniqueness of having a live-jam atmosphere while remaining precise and fiercely professional. Along with Neurosis, Isis, Swans and Godflesh, this is essential listening too for fans of tripped-out psychedelia a-la The Heads and fans Of Boris and Pelican should appreciate the experimental elements that Heirs are so good at delivering. You must be focused and a disciplined listener to truly get enjoyment out of this album but if you are, this one of the best albums of its kind released in the last year…….8.5/10
Heirs @ Myspace
Heirs Official Site

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Posted January 3, 2011 by doommantia in Heirs

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