Heathendom – The Symbolist …   3 comments

How I love the music of Heathendom, let me count the ways. This band should be admired, worshipped and adored as the metal-gods they are, no seriously this band should be superstars of metal and yet they still don’t seem to be breaking, That shows you how retarded the current metal scene is right now. If the release of the mind-altering “Nescience” wasn’t enough, they have further progressed and developed their sound with this new album titled “The Symbolist.” While they have made a shift away from epic metal and the elements of doom are now almost extinct, they continue to grow in terms of arrangements and in their songwriting skills. Musicianship doesn’t need to grow anymore, they are at the peak of their powers and really any band would give anything to have just half of the talent that Heathendom possesses. This album is again released on the Metal On Metal label, a label that is obsessed with quality acts over quantity. You will be hard pressed to find any band on the label that is short of jaw-dropping musicality.

If heavy metal is the greatest musical art-form, then Heathendom are the grand masters of the moment. Their music is based on classic metal and power-metal with an epic approach but there is an emphasis on emotion and challenging musical structures while keeping a blistering groove at all times. Each song on the album has its own unique character so a detailed review could very well turn into a lengthy novel as there is so much going on within each song. Opening with “Endistancement By The Null Position,” the song has everything that is great about ‘metal’ from the heavier than hell riffs, blistering, soaring solos to the incredible range of vocalist Dimitris Koutsouvelis. His voice is expressive to the extreme and he can change his dynamics on a dime – at will. The opening few minutes of the album is only a small piece of the Heathendom puzzle as the album takes on so many twists and turns that songs seem like many different songs rolled into one. There is indeed 10 songs on the album but it is really an album to be enjoyed as a whole and reviewed as a complete piece of work.

Rather than one or two members of the band carrying the rest of the band, they are a complete unit with each musician being a star in the show. Of course guitars are what is up front and they are so varied and dynamic that it leaves you exhausted just trying to absorb everything they are doing. There is big power-metal chugging riffs but mostly it is a progressive rock wizardry that they inject into their songs while remaining very head-bangable – the whole time. The songs mostly have a haunting feel and the vocalist is perfect at conveying the varied emotions that are unleashed in every song. Tempos shift constantly from slow to mid-paced to other sections that verge on old-school thrash-metal. The depth to this album is staggering as you can get lost within its ever-shifting dynamics. The band is almost orchestral in the way, they have various movements interweaving in every song and yet at the same time, it doesn’t sound overly technical and certainly not pompous at all. The whole album is a highlight but the opening trio of “Endistancement By The Null Position, Alternate Sickness” and “The Symbolist” are mind-blowing. “My Obedience” has one of the most infectious vocal arrangements ever while “Black Euphoria” is the kind of metal to melt your brain and your speakers.

The album’s second half is also flawless and back to back – exciting atmospheric metal goodness, “Sanctified, The Concept Of Reason, Die Insane” and “Prescience Of The End” all flow into one another so effortlessly you can lose track of what song you are listening to at any given moment. The album’s epic closer, “An Angel A Demon And A Dying God” is a fitting finale to this monster of artistic heavy metal expression. Without a doubt, Heathendom are a truly gifted band and you if are a true fan of classic metal, you will have to go nuts over this. For the doom-fans, there is some Candlemass styled mid-tempo dark chugging here and there but not as much as was on “Nescience” but fans of Nevermore and Mercyful Fate should dig this. If this band isn’t packing big arenas within a year all hope is lost, check this album out ASAP !! …………9.5/10
Official Homepage
Heathendom @ MySpace
Heathendom @ Facebook
Metal On Metal Records

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Posted February 7, 2011 by doommantia in Heathendom

3 responses to “Heathendom – The Symbolist …

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  1. Ed you are absolutely correct in that these Greeks are very talented. The singer is amazing and as a whole, these guys are great musicians.

    But that's where it stops for me. I checked them out and listened to their songs on their facebook…and it reminded me of a less heavy version of Iced Earth (Matt Barlow era). “Sanctified” has a cool riff and feel, but isn't very rememberable overall.

    The production is too clean as well. Sounds really digital….but that's just a personal preference and not a nick on the band.

    For the most part though, I find power metal boring and annoying. But, if I had to pick a power metal band to listen to, Heathendom might be on that list.

  2. It is weird but I don't like Iced Earth at all but I like Heathendom ha ha. I don't usually like power-metal either but for some reason I like Heathendom. The production is very digital and again I don't normally like that but it doesn't bother me with this band.

    I can't really explain this one, I just like them.

  3. one of those things where…it is what it is!

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