Released: 2004, Xtreem Music
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Being hailed as the best new Spanish newcomer in 1999 by specialized medias as far as The Heretic´s debut album CHEMISTRY FOR THE SOUL (originally on Iberian Moon in 2000) is concerned. The band´s two other releases (THE BOOK OF FAITH mini-CD in 1998 and FALLEN FROM HEAVEN in 1999) were already released through the same label that both had gained some good response from the fans and the press. But assumable, as it became evident earlier already, it was these Spanish black-deathsters 2nd full-lenght that kind of ´blew the bank´ at least amongst a group of Spanish metal media people. Just too bad for the band they never received any decent promotion for their latest input, leaving the album almost hardly noticed amongst the ´cultivated´ metal community. A label change to the biggest Spanish extreme metal label Xtreem Music soon led a re-issue thing of the band´s nationally praised 2nd album CHEMISTRY FOR THE SOUL, in addition with 5 bonus live tracks.
There´s been written in the label´s press kit that The Heretic should appeal the fans of such bands as early Covenant, early Arcturus, Emperor and even that the band might be well received by the fans of Dissection and At The Gates as well. Well, possibly true. It´s even possibly true that some fans from Pantera to Metallica to Nightwish to Saxon, etc. might start digging them – you just never know. I guess all this name dropping is, after all, probably just meant to catch people´s attention ´coz The Heretic neither sounds like early Covenant nor Emperor nor Dissection nor even At The Gates at all. Maybe the early Arcturus stuff manages to come quite close to their stuff musically, but it´s purely wrong to say they could sound like them simply because they honestly don´t. Sure, I can, however, admit that some of those symphonic, keyboard-driven influences with some nicely haunting melodies can be spotted out from their quite effortlessly floating mish-mash of both Black – and Death Metal (the main stress is in the term ´Black´, tho!), so in that sense The Heretic does some justice to the Norwegian pioneers of a symphonic Black Metal Arcturus a bit. The guys´ talent for more symphonic and epic sounds cannot be ignored totally and I really admit liking songs like “Love´s as Dreadful as Death”, “Dead Hearts in Living Men”, “Shake of Fever (ok, now I hear it; this song sounds a bit like early Covenant, I do admit it now...)” and “Eden in Venom” because those particular songs in question undeniable have some hints here and there that throw them indeed into the very same box with the early Arcturus sounds.
Without trying even to analyze their sound any deeper way, I suppose and believe that at least CHEMISTRY FOR THE SOUL should appeal all the fans of early Arcturus. The album isn´t any ultimate winner in any metal category, but above average stuff it is for sure! Don´t wanna say more...