Heathen

The Evolution of Chaos

Mascot Records 2010

After a long hiatus Californian veterans Heathen return for another album of powerful Bay Area thrash metal.  An eastern influenced guitar instrumental opens the album and sets the stage for the Dying Season which explodes out of its cage like a roaring lion, melodic thrash to the core and powerful vocals that command ever phrase and line like it was an order to be followed by the legion of metalheads captivated by the track.  Control By Chaos jumps right into the pit with some deadly chops that bounce around like some classic middle-era Exodus and a killer alternating solo passage between Gary Holt and Kragen Lum.  No Stone Unturned looks towards Metallica roots with its epic thrash riffing and accompanying drums lines.  The acoustic/clean guitar in the song's middle almost brings to mind parts of Nothing Else Matters, but in a good way.  heh heh.  Arrows of Agony boasts some angry riffs and begins with some Flamenco guitar.  The catchy chorus begs you to sing along.  More whirling Exodus influences circulate through Fade Away and force you to stomp, head down in a choatic pit, fists flailing about.  As a military member, I appreciate when they were doing with A Hero's Welcome but it sounds sort of out of place and has a folky feel to the whole track.  I hear some Testament influences rising to the surface on Bloodkult but it has been bent a little towards a rockier feel.  Heathen have returned with a surprisingly polished and invigorating album that takes all the classic elements of Bay Area thrash and reworks them for a tight and powerful effect.  The Evolution of Chaos grabbed me by the throat and snapped my neck , pummeling with thick, crunchy riffing.  So if you were ever a fan of the band's melodic brand of Bay Area thrash then this album will surely have you thanking your lucky stars that they reunited and delivered the goods.