Heretic_CoverFifth album but these guys are sadly a new band to me, I confess. However when the PR says “Motörhead and the Misfits have an illegitimate son growing up listening to Celtic Frost and Slayer. This record sounds like that kid’s first garage band” I kinda hope it’s right in my ball park with three bands I love to bits and, well, I have Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood like everyone else. But after five albums would you want to be described as some kid’s first garage band?

Anyway… Song subject matter is I guess pretty much as expected: Black metal punks, hyper-sexualised and demonic women, sleazy and/or violent sex, chaos, booze, a bit of Satan, big tits. The usual. And Nuclear Pussy (not about kittens, no).

‘Burn The World’ opens things with a slow, raw bass heavy intro before launching into a catchy little metal punk number. The sound is kinda Mongo Ninja (particularly on later song ‘Overlords Of Sleaze’) with a nice Misfits/Slayer swirl about it. Loose enough to sound like the scrappy punk thrash metal in its nasty little black heart but tight enough to keep the vehicle rattling along the rails. ‘Blitzkrieg In Black’ is a notch up in the catchiness with a lovely little hookline melody to it and suitably ridiculous lyrics. Yeah the guys can pen some riffs, no doubt.

The downside is that by ‘Black Metal Punks’ the production here begins to worry. Some tracks fair scamper along like rabid bunnies on crack, others have a more sinister feel like being circled by an intimidating chain wielding mugger so there’s plenty of variation but there’s no flash ignition, no sudden kick, no sharp lightning fast razor ripping loose and, believe me, that’s exactly what these songs are written to have. Listen to the fantastic Misfits feel of ‘Godless Masters, Savage Bastards’, complete with “Wooa-ooo-oo” backing vocals, and tell me it hasn’t got a weird production blanket on top of it. Shame, because live I am guessing these tracks will rip you a new one.

I also have to mention that the delivery, despite being suitably over the top, lacks a bit of the wide grin, cackling over the top humour that makes the Misfits catalogue so timeless and their horror punk so much…. well, fun. Again, I wonder if the production had robbed it of some of the sparkle? Regardless though I really could have done without ever hearing the lyrics on ‘Raw Infernal Bitchfuck’ I’m afraid.

Finish on a positive though: On the whole this is a fine collection of metal punk tantrums that are catchy and heavy and bounce like fuck. If the influences listed are your cup of tea, then regardless of my reservations about the production and one set of lyrics, dive on in and revel in the sleaze. Heretic are worth your time. Not bad at all.

(6.5/10 Gizmo)