Denovali Records 2010
The debut album from Australia's post-doomers Heirs is a thing of brooding grace. Introspective accents accompany a clockwork pulsing of bass guitar on album opener Dust. It's an unimposing, yet captivating piece of contemplative music. That is until the 3:52 mark when a lumbering wall of tremulous guitar rises steeply from the Assembly line-like precision of the bassline. Sorrowful notes float across the roapiest bass guitar I have ever heard on the title track. Industrial beats and samples create a deserted factory soundscape. Raw, scraping guitars add ominous textures to the track building towards a cacophony of piercing sounds creating a sense of claustraphobia. Burrow however drops things back to clean solitary guitar and an urgent beat. Haunting female voices hover like shadowy ghosts until it all explodes into an imposing shard of wavering guitar and pounding drums. A beat, like a giant machine, punctuates the flowing melody of Tyrant. The song then leaps into huge massive industrial riffs that bring to mind Godflesh's Streetcleaner album. Then the cycle repeats until the song's conclusion. My favorite song is the dreamlike Mother. It has a cool, jazzy beat and a hard bassline that accompany nostalgic guitars that hypnotize with their circular patterns. The song's density escalates with shards of dissonance rising and then suddenly collapsing back in on themselves. Fowl is an album that works around an industrial core comprised of precise beats and walls of discordant sound. These are punctuated by calm and melancholic guitar compositions that leave the listener in a state of sorrowful contemplation. Despite its mechanical touches, this album appeals on an emotional level.