If you have never heard of the French Black/Sludge Metal band Heir (like I hadn’t prior to today), you are easily excused – The quintet formed back in 2015, and they released their first EP (as well as Split album) the following year. So content-wise, Heir are fairly new; But this is something that they actively plan to remedy later this October.
While perhaps not what one could consider a ‘Halloween’ release (I had to bring it up, since we are getting there – I am sorry), it is nevertheless an impressive record. Five tracks, roughly forty minutes of repentless, distorted aggression and misery; Publicly it will carry the title Au Peuple De L’abîme (roughly translated into ‘People of the Abyss’, a fitting title considering the old statement that Metal, and especially Black Metal, was the Devils music).
The bandmembers themselves have admitted to being heavily inspired by both the traditonal Black Metal stage, as well as the more modern, very melancholic French approach, as well as the Sludge Metal feel often found in the US, and all of these influences are both heard and felt throughout this, their debut Full-length.
The instruments are kept in a continuous flow, always progressing from one lamentation to a pit of despair, only to show off its muscles and then retrace its steps – All of which is done without losing the gritty, gravelling sound that I have come to expect (and admire) from the French.
Lyrically I have been told that they cling to themes such as human weakness and cowardice and the inevitability of mankind to succumb to these – While I sadly cannot confirm nor deny this myself (as my French is beyond atrocious), it does coincide with the overall feel of the record – And could be used to explain the anger and frustration that the track ”L’Heure d’Helios” seems to deliver.
As far as a first full-fledged record goes, I must admit to being thoroughly impressed by what Heir has created – Even more so given their fairly short existance as a band. And while they might not take the top place as my favourite band anytime soon, they have made one hell of a first impression.
I will definitely be keeping my eyes on this French gem, inbetween reevaluating whether or not the French really are this good at this particular genre, or if I may be either biased or have some sort of a fetish.
Either way, you can make up your own mind by listening to the first official Single from the album, ”Cendres”. It can be found below.
Recommended for fans of Regarde Les Hommes Tomber and Cepheide.