Rich Man´s War...Poor Man´s Fight

Written by: ASH on 12/04/2006 09:59:43

A quick summary of the melodic quintet Herod would be: "Heavy metal rockers who claim to represent the true essence of heavy metal." With that quote, they should have some good cards in their hand shouldn't they? Well, let's keep that statement in theory for now and place Herod under the scalpel first. Herod was formed in the end of the millenium by the still loyal members Mike "Union" Jeffers (Drums) and Jesse Benker, the first part of the band's two guitarists. Soon after, their second guitarist Greg DiPasquale joined the band along with Jason Russo (Vocals) and Matt Backlas (Bass).

A few years went by with touring and demoing until the band released their first full lenght debut "For Whom the Gods Would Destroy", which stood out from the crowd as successful and critically acclaimed. Well, I had the chance of visiting their site a few times, so I could listen through their past material, and I stumbled across two of the tracks from their previous album.

First, at the time I was writing this, I already had a conclusion decided about Herod, but like I said before we're gonna wait with that for now. Nonetheless the tracks "That Green Feeling" and "We Are Those People" of their first album kicked me up from my chair. You don't get the opportunity to think twice about what's happening here, you just get blasted into the next light-year and I assure you, Herod doesn't want you or anyone to turn the volume at all towards the left. But that particular rule does not apply on this album.

Throughout the whole album, I feel like déja vu-ing through VH1's "Heavy Metal : Best of the 80'ies" and thinking why do I see Herod in all of this? Their previous composition just sounded so interesting and catchy, so I became a bit disappointed on hearing "Rich Man's War...Poor Man's Fight". I could go into detail of the album, but seriously you've all heard it before. Great instrumental control such as heavy guitar riffs, flaming solos and the clashing drums along with the looping vocals from the band's frontman. When listening through it all, there are only two tracks that stand out of the rest of the album, those being "All Night" and their semi-acoustic "Forever", which is something worth giving a try.

Yes, they are melodious and maybe they want to give their audience the feel of true, original heavy metal, but let's not keep it in the dark anymore. If you want to be rooted in the heavy eighties with repetitive lyrics and unoriginal riffs then Herod will not give you a bad feeling. But if you are like me, who looks forward to evolution in all genres of metal, then you won't find "Rich Man's War...Poor Man's Fight" all that interesting despite of a few catchy tracks. I think Herod has the energy and the experience with their instruments, but sadly enough, they lack originality and that touch of uniqueness that I always long for in music.

So to tie the ends up, if essence to their roots is important, then I agree on the statement that Herod has been able to represent the good ol' eighties in an undiscussable way. But I don't see Herod as anything who will become anything big. Nonetheless, if they get the chance sometime to fall back into the think tank, then I won't hesitate to support the theory of them being good enough to produce something good. Just...bring back the energy of your own past music instead of the world's past music.


Download: All Night, Forever
For the fans of: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden
Listen: Herod @ Myspace

Release date 24.04.2006
Lifeforce Records
Provided by Target ApS

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