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Review: Heathen - Empire of the Blind
Empire of the Blind

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 47:16
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 19, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.76/5 (75.29%) (17 Votes)

Heathen (the Bay Area thrash band) has been around a long time and their early albums did well in the late '80s thrash rush that preceded grunge. Various attempts to get the band going again culminated in 2010's The Evolution of Chaos and now, ten years later, we have their fourth album, Empire of the Blind. I wasn't all the in to the third and fourth waves of thrash, feeling that there weren't a lot of ideas that hadn't been explored, so I can't speak to where they have come from, but I can say that Empire of the Blind is a really good record. There's a smoothness to Heathen's playing which is in no way meant to imply that they aren't heavy, they are. It is more like they are happy to thrash but also know when it is OK to let the song's melodic sensibilities show a bit more. I can't pick out any songs that stand out but there are zero duds. The musicians in Heathen are long-time pros and truly have developed a style of their own in a saturated genre and it is nice to hear a Bay Area band that doesn't sound like every other Bay Area band. If you like your thrash with a bit of power metal refinement, in the same end of the pool as Death Angel or Helstar, Empire of the Blind is for you.

More about Heathen...
Review: Breaking the Silence (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Empire of the Blind (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Recovered (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Evolution of Chaos (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: The Evolution of Chaos (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: The Evolution of Chaos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Victims of Deception (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with bassist Jason Viebrooks and guitarist Kragen Lum on March 1, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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