Review – Heretic Soul: Born Into This Plague

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Review – Heretic Soul: Born Into This Plague
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Heretic Soul: Born Into This Plague
Death Metal
Rotting Corpse Records
February 23rd, 2010
Release length: 36:07

Heretic Soul‘s first full-length album, Born Into This Plague is an album that treads between the whole Slam Death Metal style of music, as well as the Deathcore scene thanks mostly to the moments that seem to be more like stereotypical breakdowns for the latter, but are structured well enough to bring the more Slam style of composition into play here. But, however you want to look at the material that Heretic Soul performs, there’s no denying that this album is really good Death Metal for what it is. But, what exactly does this band bring to the table?

There’s no denying that the music performed on Burn Into This Plague is simply solid Death Metal, but at the same time the band doesn’t really do much that is original or unique. Instead, it’s just good old-fashioned Death Metal fun that many in this style are going to love. Each of the nine songs on this release hit the listener pretty hard, whether by the force and intensity in the music, the commanding vocal performance, or even both. “Mental Decay” is the perfect example of both of these elements working well together, as this is one of the faster and harder songs on the release that features a bit of a breakdown near the end that still retains enough of an impact that it keeps the listener as attentive as the rest of the album. These moments do appear through the album, typically just one per song, but they all typically work to keep the flow alive, though sometimes really not even that necessary, such as during the track “Faceless”, where it seems like the band had to actually make room in the track just to accommodate it.

There are plenty of great cuts off this release, but none seem to be more dominated by the music then the tracks “Suffering from Existence” and “Worship Me”. “Suffering from Existence” really brings in a bouncy (only way to really put it) guitar structure through the song that really ends up taking control of the song more than vocal performance could do., even with the band incorporating gutturals or shouting in the manner they typically do. “Worship Me” is another great song that really puts an emphasis on a Brutal Death Metal sound. This track isn’t the first to have it, as many other do, but just not the same intensity and power as this song does. The vocal performance here is great, but simply isn’t enough to hold the listener attentive. The music really winds up pushing this track along, but not until the very end where everything slows down into a breakdown and makes the album practically limp along until the very end of the song about a minute after it started. While it initially works with the song and doesn’t seem to be nailed on, it just feels a bit too long and requires the need of the commanding vocals to push it along to the finish line, but the vocals used here really don’t come off as that impressive to keep the listener happy the whole time, sticking mostly to just shouting instead of a raspier style that one could find similar to the vocals you would find on Chimaira albums.

But even the ending to “Worship me” doesn’t prove to be the odd track out here. “Beyond Hatred” is the one track on here that will seem a but out-of-place due to it’s slower pace and inclusion of acoustic guitars that start and finish off the track. Once the acoustic and low singing are done, the music manages to kick into a hard and faster performance that does wind up working with the guitars thanks to the guitar riffs being used, but the drumming could have been a little different when the snares really kick into a faster pace. This causes one cymbal crash to happen in the beat, but it seems so empty against the snares being used, and more cymbal crashes really would have sufficed, even if it sacrificed the snares for faster double bass kicks instead, like the fast double bass kick patterns that happens shortly after this second set of snare hits. As the song comes to its end, it has a guitar solo that is nice, but that and some of the other guitars bring in this lonely slower pace that matches with the slow acoustic music that started the song, but now also ends it. If this doesn’t completely take away from the flow of the album, who knows what will. This song also is just not that enjoyable, and winds up sounding like it should have just been taken off the album completely and issued on a split or even bonus track on an EP instead. Luckily, this is the only time such a thing happens on the album, as the closing two songs bring everything back around the way the album started and progressed, being very heavy and more of a simplified Brutal Death Metal sound, but one good thing about this track is the lack of any form of breakdown, whether it fits the song or not.

Either way, Born Into This Plague makes for a great Death Metal album from Heretic Soul, and a solid first full-length from Heretic Soul. Hopefully the band will continue to grow and find better ways to incorporate their slam tendencies outside of just tacking them on in some tracks, as well as stay far away from tracks like “Beyond Hatred” that kill the flow of the album by completely changing everything momentarily. Either way, this is still a release that listener of Death Metal will more than likely appreciate and give it plenty of repeat spins over time.

01. The Truth Swells in Your Head – 3:50
02. Deadliest Enemy – 3:46
03. Mental Decay – 3:24
04. Suffering From Existence – 3:33
05. Faceless – 3:34
06. Worship Me – 3:16
07. Beyond Hatred – 4:45
08. Life Becomes Our Grave – 4:36
09. Twenty One Grams – 5:23
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Heretic Soul
Heretic Soul

Digital review copy of this release provided by Rotting Corpse Records.