Rating:
7.6
Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos
25 January 2010


01. Intro
02. Dying Season
03. Control By Chaos
04. No Stone Unturned
05. Arrows Of Agony
06. Fade Away
07. A Hero's Welcome
08. Undone
09. Bloodkult
10. Red Tears Of Disgrace
11. Silent Nothingness


The last half decade saw the rise of Thrash-rehash. A bunch of bands picked up their axes and started paying tribute to 80's thrash.. and 2010 has seemingly seen the return of the old guard, with Exodus and Overkill both putting out some really good albums.

Add Heathen to that list.

Evolution Of Chaos is the band's first full length in 19 years. And despite two decades of sitting in a Bay Area garage, Heathen shows no rust with their relaunch.

Following a sitar intro provided by guest musician Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus and more other bands than you have fingers), Heathen blaze forth out of the gate with tons of crunchy riffs, galloping riffs, and droves of solos.

Speaking of droves, one of my criticisms of Heathen's kissing cousin, Exodus was the length of their newest. Evolution Of Chaos is almost every bit as long as Exhibit B, however the band has a more melodic approach, trading in the brutality for some intricate melodies that make this release far less taxing a listen. Their style is almost a marriage between thrash and 80's US power metal, a blend of aggression mixed with some catchy melody.

Songs like "Dying Season," "Control By Chaos" and "Fade Away" are fantastic thrashy numbers that provide an instant spark of energy, but the album is also interspersed with mid-paced numbers or sections of songs that keep the energy if not at red-line intensity at all times.

I do think there is a bit of "fade away" on the album, as it's a bit front-loaded with the back five songs not being quite as good as the five that open the record. "A Hero's Welcome" is a ballad tribute to the common soldier, which is a mighty ballsy thing to do for a band that hails from the militantly anti-military SF area. While I appreciate the sentiment, it is sappy in it's execution. The remaining tracks that close the album after the let-off are all pretty good as well, but don't quite recapture the fire of the first five.

And no review would be complete without mention of the epic "No Stone Unturned" - an 11 minute piece that evolves from a slow crushing march over six minutes into a quiet, clean section, finally ramped up until a double-time crushing end. It sounds like it would be right at home on Metallica's "...And Justice For All...", only it is far better orchestrated than some of the monolithic tracks on that release. Oh, and you can hear the bass.

In addition to sitar and some fretless bass by Steve DiGiorgio, the album also saw guest spots from Lee Altus' mates in Exodus, with Rob Dukes providing some pipework and Gary Holt laying down a lead in "Control By Chaos".

All in all this is a really good return from one of the Bay Area scene's lesser known gems and is recommended to all thrash fans.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Heathen
Album: The Evolution Of Chaos


 



Written on 04.08.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 14  
Users visited: 229  
Search this topic:  


Troy Killjoy - 04.08.2010 at 02:20  
"Speaking of droves..."

I thought you were going for it again. A bit disappointed. Good review - appropriate rating. A perfect comparison to Exhibit B, although I think Exodus are marginally stronger with their release.

Kudos for even releasing something after sitting in idle for such a lengthy period of time.
BitterCOld - 04.08.2010 at 02:27  
Yeah, i used the droves thing intentionally as these two bands are conjoined by Lee... and i ultimately scored this a slight bit lower than Exodus, 7.7 to 7.6. I slightly prefer the aggression on the Exodus release, and it's high points hit a tad higher... even with the fatigue factor.
Ag Fox - 04.08.2010 at 02:43  
I thought Marcel was going to review this (because he said he had the promo copy since October...?)
BitterCOld - 04.08.2010 at 02:50  
Written by Ag Fox on 04.08.2010 at 02:43

I thought Marcel was going to review this (because he said he had the promo copy since October...?)


he was going to, but has been busy and i had the time to do it this week.
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.08.2010 at 03:30  
Agree with every word you said, especially on the back stretch (that includes the horrendous Hero's Welcome for me). But I do however rate this one higher than Exodus' latest es,pecially due to the melodies on it. I would say 8.2 for this and 7.1 for Exodus.

Saw Heathen live a couple of mponths ago and the new songs live slayed as much as their old stuff. Funnily they restricted themselves to songs of the first half of this album.
RavenKing - 04.08.2010 at 03:49  
"Their style is almost a marriage between thrash and 80's US power metal, a blend of aggression mixed with some catchy melody."

This sentence explains why I don't like this album. It's too soft for my tastes in Thrash. In fact, lots of Thrash bands are too soft for my tastes. I like only Thrash of the rawest and harshest kind.
Fat & Sassy! - 04.08.2010 at 09:00  
This album is fucking TOASTY. It makes me feel all warm with it's thrashy goodness. I suppose I may like more than most, because I don't listen to too much thrash... And rating seems fair, although I think it deserves a solid 8. Probably a 9 if some of the tracks you mentioned were cut off. It's a bit too long. Great, spot-on review though.
vezzy - 04.08.2010 at 12:21  
Fitting score. Agree with the points given here.
InnerSelf - 04.08.2010 at 15:19  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 04.08.2010 at 09:00

This album is fucking TOASTY. It makes me feel all warm with it's thrashy goodness. I suppose I may like more than most, because I don't listen to too much thrash... And rating seems fair, although I think it deserves a solid 8. Probably a 9 if some of the tracks you mentioned were cut off. It's a bit too long. Great, spot-on review though.


+1
Since I am also not a thrash metal fan , I always enjoy a bit of thrash every once and a while and this album was great
Well written review , agree with every word you said
Ragepocalypse - 04.08.2010 at 15:20  
I do say as a great lover of thrash metal i sure am enjoying this year With the new Overkill,Exodus and of course this. A great album Some nice crunchy thrash goodness with some great melodies in there.
UnknownCheese - 06.08.2010 at 23:20  
The album is way too long, but it has some solo sections.
Hermann Langke - 19.09.2010 at 19:09  
Written by BitterCOld on 04.08.2010 at 02:27

Yeah, i used the droves thing intentionally as these two bands are conjoined by Lee... and i ultimately scored this a slight bit lower than Exodus, 7.7 to 7.6. I slightly prefer the aggression on the Exodus release, and it's high points hit a tad higher... even with the fatigue factor.

Bro. I agree with you as far as "No Stone Unturned" is concerned. It does sound like Metallica! Especially like Orion or even to live is to die!
jimmy - 06.01.2011 at 13:33  
This album was my first introduction to HEATHEN, (they havent released an album in 19 years) and i have to say, i loved it! this is a great metal album and a great thrash album.
i'd rate this one an 8 or so. hopefully they wont wait another 19 years to release a follow up.
Mattybu - 06.04.2012 at 02:33  
Score is accurate. Good album, don't mind this style of thrash. Love jamming that riff in Undone that just sounds like sex. I could just repeatedly play that for hours and have an enjoyable guitar session lol.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos 7.5 27.01.2010 by JÄY
Events BEL, Vosselaar - Heathen: The Evolution Of Chaos Tour 6 29.04.2010 by Hellish Star
Reviews Ixion - To The Void 4.5 10.05.2011 by MechanisT
Reviews The Sullen Route - Apocalyclinic 4.5 23.02.2012 by cobrapel
Reviews Eternal Silence - The Arsonist 4.5 07.04.2010 by Valaskjalf



Hits total: 4751 | This month: 43