This Sludgelord Records signing outta Vancouver namedrops Isis, Sleep and Corrupted in their Bandcamp bio, so you know it’s gonna be heavy. Heron’s debut full-length album features six tracks clocking in at just under 40 minutes, with shades of all the aforementioned.
The awesomely titled “Of Gods and Goats” kicks things off with a slow, sludgy, Corrupted-style riff, crawling along at a snail’s pace, moving into a more Noothgrush verse complete with brutal, bludgeoning death-metal vocals. An instrumental section picks up the pace around the 4:30 mark, but not too much—this is still some slow-mo sludge.
“The Great Attractor” is the longest song on here at 8:43. This one does have a bit more of a post-metal, NeurIsis vibe, with a notably lighter tone and a little more room to breathe between notes, although it picks up the pace with a 30-second black-metal sounding riff about three and a half minutes in. Vocals are just as brutal as ever, too. “A Gnawing Worry” begins with a one-minute piano interlude, but proceeds to deliver some of the heaviest riffs on this record for the next two-and-a-half, even throwing in some blast beats for evil measure.
“Uncomfortable Silence” slows things down and spaces things out again, with one riff that reminds me of Zoroaster’s “Tualatin,” although the overall effect is marginally more mellow. Things slow down and mellow out considerably around the midway mark, with a lone guitar ringing out over the sound of running water. From there, we get some brighter, post-rock sounds, before the riffs return slower and heavier than ever past the five-minute mark, albeit still with some brighter accents. The next track, “Parallels of a Knife Fight,” continues in a somewhat similar vein, throwing in some spoken-word clips as well. Considering the relative lack of proper post-sludge acts in this country, this release is well worth checking out.