Offering a thickly promising and swiftly engaging slab of groove infested death metal, Croatia band Hereza make a rather appetising introduction to their presence with debut album Misanthrope. It is not a release to set a cat amongst the pigeons of extreme metal but with additional punk encrusted tenacity and blackened fury, it certainly makes for a very flavoursome base for the band to push on from.
Formed in 2014, the duo of Slobodan Stupar (guitars, bass, drums, backing vocals) and Ivan Kovačević Kova (vocals) take their seeds from the old school origins of death metal but vein their creativity with the potent essences previously mentioned resulting in a familiar but persistently enticing onslaught. Seemingly embracing the inspirations of bands such as Entombed, Entrails, Misery Index, and Marduk, Hereza take little time in gripping attention with Misanthrope and its opening title track.
The song flies at the senses with sonic nostrils flared and rhythms hungry to inflict intimidation. It is a furious and pleasing proposal enhanced by grouchy vocals and emerging predatory grooves, each a fresh threat from the song’s malevolence. With especially its intensive beats ringing in ears, it makes way for the similarly voracious tempest of Grob. Leaving little time for a breath to be swallowed, the track is a hell for leather assault with the skilled craft and enterprise of Stupar impressing. There is a potent rawness to song and indeed album which accentuates the hostile and unforgiving nature of release and sound, an intensive tonic emulated in the broader caustic rock ‘n’ roll of Kraj and the darker toned Unholy Flame of Eternity. The blend of both sets of vocals amidst a spicy melodic adventure lures potently within the first of the two songs whilst the second is marked by a more classic metal infestation of hooks and a contagious swing to beats and riffs alike.
We Are the Disease provides a major pinnacle to the album, its feisty and lighter swagger of sound and character instantly anthemic without defusing the vicious roar and violent heart which lies within its infectious breast. Grooves are just as insatiably addictive too, and though the track is really barely scratching the surface of something truly new it rocks like a bitch taking body and emotions with it. Its catching infectiousness is matched in Objesen which emerges from a sinister intro to flex muscles and rhythmic animosity with bestial potency. Grooves again make the difference between a good and a great song but are in turn impressively backed by the vocals and simply the energy of the track to swiftly recruit eager submission to its lures.
Whole World Burn with its opening Michael Caine sample stalks ears next, lurching over and snarling at ears with predatory maliciousness while both the corrosive hardcore corruption that is Bullet Storm and the tangy sonic adventure of Cancerous Demise keep album and satisfaction boiling quite nicely. All three offer some inventive and appealing twists to their savage bellows, each individual to the next and employing well used but in the band’s hands, tasty creative ingredients.
That variety continues in the punk driven Pills, the song taking the genre’s raucous antagonism into its death metal foraging of the senses with a furious chorus to match, whilst Noc Zivih Mrtvaca unearths a delicious dirt encrusted bass rapacity to prowl its bruising and volatile belligerence fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. Each leave healthy impressions and pleasure in their grudge loaded wake, the rhythmic lure of the latter powerful bait, before the excellent Death Army March stomps over senses and into the passions with a heavy footed animus. Another peak of the album, it is pure militant bad blood with vocal and creative spite to match.
Closing with the outstanding Erase the Disgrace, a song with the best entrance by far, a haunted sepia lit climate which subsequently erupts into a voracious tempest of aural ravishing, and finally the peddle to the metal charge of Mud, the album inspires full satisfaction with its proposal. Misanthrope is not loaded with surprises apart from being a striking unexpected debut, but succeeds in igniting only good feelings and reactions to its potential soaked presence, and that is more than enough to warrant an investigation by all extreme metal fans.
Misanthrope is available now via PRC Music @ http://www.prcmusic.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1242
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