Herod – They Were None (Mighty Music)

Tuesday, 10th June 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

The Swiss Herod, not to be confused with the Buffalo, NY Herod, who, for a very brief moment of time in the mid-00s had some potential in American melo-death derby. Weird how these international copyright laws work. Anyway, Herod (just to be clear – the Swiss version) play a familiarized apocalyptic take on post-metal, of which is probably more pointed than Cult of Luna, less cinematic than A Storm of Light, and less melodic than Isis and/or Ghost Bridge. Even with most of the post-metal lot covered, the band puts on a relatively strong and rhythmic display on They Were None.

Inspired by the Agatha Christie novel of the same name (‘tis all grunts here, so forget following the storyline), the band’s compositions don’t take as many atmospheric dips as Herod’s choice of metal normally suggests. Instead, the teeth-bared riff action found on pummeling opener “The Fall” is a good indication of where the album is going, and rightfully so – the darn thing is nearly ten-minutes in length. Along the way, the jarring jabs of “Inner Peace” are catchy; the slow-build of “We Are the Future” has the album’s best display of dynamics, while the run-off coming from “No Forgiveness for Vultures” and “Sad Hill Part II” are deliberate, jagged pills of sludge, just without the distortion maxed-out.

Whereas most bands of this ilk tend to find a way to be dainty and (somewhat) pretty by the use of space and gentle guitar strumming, Herod wants nothing to do with such measures. So in essence, They Were None basks in the nuclear glow of riffs that are stripped of melody, vocals soaked in acid, and a run-time that may be a test of endurance for some, but should help give a proper introduction to a Swiss band to keep an eye on.

Herod on Bandcamp