Thursday, November 7, 2013

Herder - Doomed(2013)

Herder wastes no time in heavily pummeling one's head-holes with their newest onslaught of music.  From the get-go, Doomed grabbed my attention and kept me slowly rocking my head as I sat, trying not to leap from my desk and knock over my freshly filled bookshelf in a flurry of metal-induced excitement and zeal.  Some doomier metal, even prior releases from Herder, elicits a calmer response and allows the listener time to let the music wash over them as it meanders its dark, brooding path; I love this kind of music, but Doomed is for other times, times in which one's patience will brook no delay.  Doomed brings something interesting to the doomy, sludgy, and undeniably heavy metal scene - a sense of urgency. 

As the first track gets underway, I am transported back to my first listen to Mastodon's Remission.   The sound in "Stab" is both crushing and heavy, yet the song gallops along at a pace that is equal parts groovy and brooding.  The meandering guitar leads march along in a way that lends a lightened respite to an otherwise heavy dose of sludge-laden, dark metal.  Midway through the track, "Stab" breaks down into something deeper, darker, and more akin to their music of previous years.

"Slither", as well, cuts right to the chase before letting into a mid-song solo that leads a break that could only be called beautiful when compared to the hate-tinged "Stab".  "Slither" seems to be over just as soon as it begins, but not before setting the stage for what will hopefully be a complete album that marks a progression from 2012's Horror Vacui into something for those looking for a bit of speed to go with their heavy.

The vocals (Che really seems to be hitting his stride in this one) elicit a response of pure anger that washes over me in a take-no-prisoners sort of way, and I'm almost compelled to get out of my chair and act on my rage.  I am by no means an angry person, generally, yet "Stab" is the kind of song that makes me want to, for lack of a better phrase, fuck things up.  It is my hunch that, minus the tightly packed venue of metal-heads slamming their brains against the walls of their skulls, this is precisely the response Herder was looking for.  My advice to listeners of Doomed: give these songs a go in a place where you can move, and act, and let the music compel you to get off your ass and rock. 

Doomed, while perhaps being more uptempo than previous Herder efforts, is heavy in its own way and stays true to its sludgy tendencies.  My only complaint is that Herder only provided us with just over five minutes of new material, a taste that is not nearly enough to satisfy my doomy, sludge-chugging needs.  This is not music to be taken lightly, or to listen to while slogging through the mundanity of the everyday.  Rather, Doomed, at least on "Stab", seems to take the essence of what Pantera could have been had it sped up its sound and became, well, a bit more interesting. Slay on, Herder, and bestow upon us another swamp-load of heavy, southern-tinged Netherlander riffage as soon as you can.


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