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Review: Heretic - A Time of Crisis
A Time of Crisis

Label: Metal on Metal Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 46:04
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power/Thrash

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 12, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
A Time of Crisis

Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

For the uninitiated, Heretic were a US power/thrash act that put out one album in the late 80s. They were fronted by the inimitable Mike Howe and plugging a sound not too far away from the mighty Metal Church. After the release of their debut,Heretic basically divided themselves amongst the Metal Church camps. Brain Korban and Dennis O'Hara would join David Wayne forming Reverend whilst prior to this Mike Howe jumped ship to Metal Church (performing on their finest albums, might I add). Heretic thus disappeared and was thought lost in the annals of 80s metal, until reforming last year with an almost completely new line-up save for Brian Korban and one time vocalist Julian Mendez.

Anyone who loved Heretic with Mike Howe, and would be expecting a return to the magic created on Breaking Point would do well to extinguish that fire now. The sound still retains similarities to the Heretic sound, although I feel A Time Of Crisis it is for the most part a different beast. Heretic's sound here shares common ground with the latest releases from Helstar or Meliah Rage, with a vibrant mix and scything guitar pushing this release bang up to date in terms of sound quality. Mendez's vocals are good, if unspectacular. His style has a hoarse, shouted type feel although he performs with passion and venom which gels well with the band's rough edged sound. The riffs straddle the line between traditional metal and thrash pretty well, they're fairly basic yet punchy and largely quite catchy. The lead guitar playing is tasty and probably retains the most of their 80s heritage. As for the rhythm section, we have solid barrage of thundering bass and dynamic stick work.

A Time Of Crisis is for the most part a cool album; it just sadly can't hold a flame to Breaking Point. Still this is a new lease of life for a band once thought lost. Whilst reunions are en vogue at the moment, Heretic clearly mean business and as it stands A Time Of Crisis is a good jumping point for a bunch of albums to follow. Fans of acts such as Helstar, Meliah Rage, Vicious Rumors and modern Agent Steel will definitely find something to enjoy here.

Other related information on the site
Interview with Guitarist Brian Korban and bassist Angel Espino on June 7, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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