Herod: Rich Man's War...Poor Man's Fight
Herod - Rich Man's War...Poor Man's Fight - [Lifeforce Records]


This is the second reincarnation of the NY/Buffalo-based band Herod. The second full-length album after their reformation as a heavy-metal band back in 2002/2003 is once again with only two of the original members, Jesse Banker as a lead guitarist and Mike “Union” Jeffers as a drummer, while the remaining members are new ones; this raises some questions: Is this a pattern? Will they replace the musician for the next album as well? And what about the one following that, will it have brand new members joining Jesse and Mike?

This band started out in 2000 as a metalcore band, some might say in the verge of Converge (the rhyme isn’t intended), and had some success in touring and among the metalcore listeners in the US; late 2002/early 2003 was a turning point for the band, and it ended up replacing three of its original members and releasing their Lifeforce Records debut “For whom the gods would destroy”.
For this album (“Rich man’s war…Poor man’s fight”, the one this review is about) we have, once again, three new members – this has great impact on the way this album is different from the former one.
The most important difference is the vocal display, of one Jason Russo, which no longer includes those metalcore screams its predecessor had and is quite frankly much more fitting to their sleazy-hard-rock attitude and heavy metal drive which are most evident in “The Fire” and “Grand Design”.

This album actually sound like it was done in the 80’s; be it duo to the thrash-like heaviness and powerful throaty vocals in the opener “Assimilation” or in “Lies and betrayal” or the over-sweetness of ballads a ballad like “Forever” (which is a bit too weak in my opinion); there is also sort of an addition early power that comes with “One life to burn” and “Journey to creation”.
A bit of Megadeth and Maiden can be heard in “Broken Promises”, via some riffs and melodies; in “The ring” it’s brought to a greater extent and is accompanied by some hard rock ruggedness.
There is even a potential anthem in the form of a semi-ballad, titled “All Night”, which has some of that heavy metal force along with a quite solo to seal the deal.

Working with producer Doug White really made this album a blast from the past, but I’m not too sure if this kind of coarse sound is what this band needs… sometimes the guitar riffs aren’t clear enough or the vocals sound sparse or lost under the instruments.
This band could use some experience through more shows and more albums; I’m sure I’m not the only who’d be keeping an eye on them.

Ofer Vayner

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