Release Date: 31 October 2018
Country: Costa Rica
Format reviewed: Digital
It’s been a more than a passable year for Thrash Metal. Thrashist Regime, Traitor, Shakma and My Regime stood out among a slew of old school/retro thrash affairs that, while ripping and instantaneously pleasing, lack the longevity of something like 2017’s Power Trip album. Still, we can’t complain – Thrash Metal is alive and well and the underground continues to throw up new bands worldwide. The Latin/Central Americas isn’t a place I would consider to be a thrash metal hotbed, but in the case of Costa Rican quartet Heresy, we have a very promising act to keep an eye on.
Formed in 2011, Heresy started to record its first EP titled ‘Heretics to the Fire’, an EP that was actually mastered by Tim Aymar from Control Denied and Pharaoh. In 2012 Heresy started the recording process of their first album, ‘Worldwide Inquisition’. Since then, it’s been a bunch of touring through Eastern Europe and Western Europe and the recording of this, their second album ‘Blasphemia’. As I write, the band is currently in Eastern Europe on their False Messiah tour in support of the new album.
‘Blasphemia’ indicates that Heresy has made some massive strides since their debut. Far more professional sounding and their songwriting honed to a point now where they have developed a rather distinctive individual style. The first thing that hit me about the sound of this album was the proper-thrash riffage that the band employs. The opening track ‘Downpour’ is more than ample proof of the improvements the band has made over the past 6 years. The excellent production/mastering and mix from Marcos Monnerat and Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios is also a major strength of this new album – thick in the riff, powerful in the bottom end and exuding energy and attitude throughout.
Songwriting and production qualities aside, the main reason why Heresy have improved their M.O since their inception is two-fold. The addition of a second guitarist in Kevin Venegas and the scathing performance from vocalist/frontman Jos Raley. Firstly, Kev’s inclusion has given Heresy a whole new level of professionalism in their songwriting – his lead work is particularly stellar, adding color and depth to their compositions, whilst allowing the riff work and rhythm section to flourish in the background with greater impact and feel. Vocally Jos Raley’s performance works for me, mainly because his tonality in delivery is a little different to most. In this regard, you could say his style has a slightly harsh Metalcore feel about it – in this regard, he comes across like a thrashed up vocal version of Mike Score – he of NYC legends All Out War. Whatever you think of the vocal ‘core’ element, the bottom line with Jos is clearly about rage, anger, and brutal intensity. It works!
‘Blasphemia’ is a 7 track rager! Well, 6 total head-removal pieces and a neat little melodic title track instrumental that rounds out the album in fine style. Backed with a fantastic production, sound and a stunning cover art piece from Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, and Sodom), this is a band to keep an eye on. If you’re a fan of the old school thrash vibe, proper riffs (think Sepultura/Kreator) and that distinctive Central/South American attitude, then Heresy are your new best friends. 8/10 KMaN
Jos Raley – Vocals and Rythm Guitar
Blop Heresy – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Kevin Venegas – Lead Guitar
Dennis Abrahams – Drums
1. Downpour 04:30
2. Last Night God Talked To Me 06:58
3. The Pagan 04:50
4. The Hive 03:33
5. Sharpointing 06:07
6. Suiciety 05:15
7. Blasphēmia 03:47
8/10 To Greatness and glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.