With a name like I Am Heresy, I should think you know what you’re in for here. And that’s a brutal beating over the head by some pummeling like hell drums, scorching guitars (of which they have THREE players), à toute vitesse bass and rage-fueled vocals, complete with some rather unorthodox lyrics.
Like the best metal bands of today, I Am Heresy don’t play by any particular rulebook. I think calling them metal is a fair genre distinction, using the term loosely, but their songs are crammed full of styles you would probably never expect to find together. And that you’d never expect to actually work well together. Take “March of Black Earth,” for example. You’ve got some screamed vocals that split the difference between death metal and hardcore paired with clean vocals that split the difference between modern rock and nü-metal. And these vocals are layered and layered, sometimes almost at war with each other and sometimes meshing into one voice that’s as pure and clear as it is fragmented and distorted. “We come tonight to raise the dead,” sings vocalist Nathan Gray (also of Boysetsfire) during the melodious chorus, but during the verses he screams his fucking head off with a fury that will having you convinced that he wants to jump right out of your speakers and kick the shit out of you. Which could very well be what he wants to do. Lyrically, that is. I Am Heresy are as thought-provoking as any type of heresy. And their lyrics are very black metal much of the time.
Put it this way, listening to I Am Heresy is like listening to four different bands playing the same song but in four distinct ways at the same time during a unique battle of the bands. It takes a few listens for your mind to come to terms with it, but what starts off sounding like a jumbled mess winds up sounding like something truly brilliant. Nowhere is that more clear than during “As We Break,” which has all of the elements of “March of Black Earth” along with some quote unquote normal vocals, like you’d find in a straightforward, mainstream rock band. And just when you think you’ve finally grasped what it is they’re doing here, along comes “Alarm,” a mellow, acoustic tune that you could probably slip onto a folk music playlist without anyone complaining. Perhaps, then, it’s fitting that some black metal purists might consider “Alarm” heresy.
BLACK SOUL CHOIR TOUR 2014
I AM HERESY on tour with Wolves Like Us, Visions, Fuze. Ox present:
08.04.14 (DK) Copenhagen – Beta
09.04.14 (D) Bremen – Tower
10.04.14 (NL) Amsterdam – Winston
11.04.14 (B) Antwerp – JC Kavka
12.04.14 (D) Essen – Cafe Nova
13.04.14 (D) Siegen – Vortex
14.04.14 (D) Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
15.04.14 (CH) St. Gallen – Grabenhalle
16.04.14 (D) Munich – Feierwerk w/ Norma Jean, Liferuiner, Night Verses
17.04.14 (SLO) Ljubljana – Gala Hala
18.04.14 (I) Bologna – Freakout Club
19.04.14 (HR) Zagreb – akc Attack
20.04.14 (H) Budapest – D’rer Kert
21.04.14 (CZ) Prague – 007
22.04.14 (D) Berlin – Cassiopeia