Heron – Time Immemorial (Sludgelord Records)Friday, 8th May 2020
When I think of Vancouver bands, the likes of Baptists, Erosion, and Waingro come to mind. But after listening to Time Immemorial, Heron has been added to my list. The band has sought to combine different styles on this record, some of them on the same song, with very satisfactory results. Plus, anyone who covers “Wolverine Blues” and does that little ditty justice is A-OK in my book (looking at you, Converge).
Scorching opener “Long in the Tooth” pulls no punches with its heavy-as-a-whale-covered-in-grease riffs and vocal delivery. “Death on the Mahalat” spews fire and brimstone, the intensity never letting up and ends abruptly, leaving you wanting for more. Personal favorite “Boiling Ancient Light” went from doom to uplifting post-rock seamlessly, while “Void Eater” plods on, as vocalist Jamie rips his vocal cords out for our auricular pleasure. The aforementioned “Wolverine Blues” cover is an excellent homage that will earn a nod of approval from Entombed, while “Endless” wraps everything up with a solemn synth and pensive tone, but just when you thought you’re ready for a lovely come down, Heron goes back up for one more round of battery so brutal you’re left with no choice but to call 911.
It’s always refreshing to discover bands who take a particular style of metal, infuse some creative mashup of disparate influences and come up with an end product that’s worth replaying for hours on end. Hopefully, Heron will keep this practice up, as I feel like their potential is still not yet fully realized.