The term metalcore has been bastardized beyond the days when it applied to bands like Stampin’ Ground, who espoused the virtues of hardcore with a huge metal bent to now mean any band that combines shouting verses with clean choruses and/or with widdly leads (to show their love of metulz) and breakdowns (to be down wiv da kidz) as interchangeable as the slew of bands that play them. I Am Heresy, the brainchild of vocalist Nathan Gray (Boysetsfire) and featuring his son Simon Gray on guitars, belong in both camps: that which “metalcore” used to encompass, and parts of what it does now, equal parts metal, hardcore and a mix of melody and aggression and sound like what I always wanted Architects to sound like, but is the better for the fact that Architects don’t actually sound like this.
Thy Will (Century Media) kicks off with punchy and violent ‘Rahabh’, 3 minutes of what Slayer should have sounded like on Undisputed Attitude, before ‘Our Father’ punks out open chords in a Bring Me The Horizon fashion, moving into the more melodic ‘March Of Black Earth’ where Gray Sr opens up his clean vocals for the first time. ‘Destruction Anthems’ returns to the temple of Slayer, all Seasons In The Abyss being covered by Sick Of It All, ‘Thy Will II (Black Sun Omega)’ is a mix of As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage and tasteful mid-album break ‘Alarm’ would sit beautifully on an Ancient VVisdom release.
But at 13 tracks, they spread themselves too thinly with too many fillers for one record and their potential and sound isn’t fully realized throughout (for example ‘Blasphemy Incarnate’ is stock, ‘As We Break’ is all chorus and no song, the riffs of ‘Hinnom II’ close in on Avenged Sevenfold territory and serves as a weak closer). But make no bones, when this melodic metal/hardcore mesh works, it shows I Am Heresy are capable of creating some engaging music, at times aggressive, at others catchy and often both, with personal favourite ‘Seven Wolves And The Daughters of Apocalypse’ a nice summary of the whole.
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