HEATHEN — Empire Of The Blind (review)

HEATHEN — Empire Of The Blind album cover Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Empire Of The Blind" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Heathen. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in September 2020. It´s the successor to "The Evolution of Chaos" from 2010 and while it hasn´t been 19 years like it had been between "Victims of Deception (1991)" and "The Evolution of Chaos (2010)", 10 years between album releases are still a lot of years and a long waiting time for the faithful and dedicated fans. Not surprisingly there have been a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as bassist Jon Torres has been replaced by Jason Mirza and drummer Darren Minter has been replaced by Jim DeMaria. Guitarists Lee Altus and Kragen Lum, and lead vocalist David White, remain from the lineup who recorded "The Evolution of Chaos (2010)".

Apparently 10 years between album releases and changing the rhythm section haven´t changed much, because "Empire Of The Blind" more or less sounds like it could have been released a year after "The Evolution of Chaos (2010)" and it could easily have been released by the exact same lineup, although Heathen seem to have gone for a slightly more concise songwriting approach on this one, as the tracks are generally shorter than on the predecessor.

Stylistically Heathen play a melodic yet still powerful style of thrash metal. White can both sing raw and more melodic, sometimes even touching US power metal styled vocals. He definitely wouldn´t be out of place on an Iced Earth album or anything in that vein. The instrumental part of the music is technically well played, varied, and very interesting in terms of the powerful playing rhythm section, the razor sharp thrashy riffs, but also the many melodic leads, harmonies, and guitar solos. The guitar work on the album is nothing short of amazing.

The material is well written, varied, and effective, and "Empire Of The Blind" also features a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production (courtesy of Zeuss), which suits the material perfectly. In other words a consistently strong and high quality thrash metal release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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Tupan wrote:
50 days ago
You can't go wrong with Heathen! Maybe it lacks the epics from Evolution of Chaos, but it's good thrash!
Vim Fuego wrote:
51 days ago
I thought this was fucking good myself, but I overlooked it at album of the year time.
Nightfly wrote:
51 days ago
I played it on Spotify when it was released and thought it sounded pretty good but lacked the energy of The Evolution of Chaos. I think that may have been the reason for most of the negative comments.
UMUR wrote:
52 days ago
This one gets a lot of negative feedback, but I really don´t hear what it is people are complaining about. I think it´s great album. Maybe not my personal poison, but definitely a high quality thrash metal release.

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