Jul 222015

In Dread Response-Heavenshore


(We premiere a full stream of the new album by New Zealand’s In Dread Response, with the following introduction by TheMadIsraeli.)

Melodic death metal and metalcore have been intersecting with each other for quite a while now. I’ve been a proponent of the idea that this has mostly produced mediocre music that should be of little interest, often resulting in little more than watered-down melodic death metal with clean pop vocals, riffing that lacks any technical edge, and a boring breakdown here and there. But In Dread Response have always consistently done it right, taking exactly the best aspects of both styles. The technical edge, ferocity, and speed of melodic death metal are in play, combined with metalcore’s emotive sense of melody, energy, and a vocal style that comes off as more emotionally charged. Think of early Killswitch Engage with Jesse Leech, except IDR are definitely about the more ferocious aspects of heavy music. And there are no breakdowns or clean vocals to be found here.   Zero.

Heavenshore is the band’s third album, and their best. I’ve not heard metal of the melodic sort this emotionally charged or this vicious in a long time. It’s also one of the few instances in which I truly feel an album is “perfect”, in the sense that there is no filler on it. Every song is distinct and equally great, and I never have an urge to skip to the next track at any point. This is as repeat-listenable as Alive Or Just Breathing or Slaughter Of The Soul, and I’ve been treating it as an album of like prestige since the IDR guys sent me the promo of it.


In Dread Response 2015


There has been a huge change in the IDR sound with the addition of vocalist Ben Read. Read has done time in Ulcerate, of all bands. He replaces the band’s original vocalist Sean Connolly, who was of a more traditional melodic death metal growly persuasion. Ben Read attacks the vocal position with more of the emotive, unrestrained nature of vocalists like Jesse Leech from Killswitch Engage, Joe Nally of Chapters, and so on, fitting In Dread Response far better in the end than Sean Connolly did.

The band has given us the privilege of streaming this album until the record’s release on August 1. It’s a blazing firestorm of military discipline, savage precision, and frantic emotiveness. While the band stick to their trademark brand of pedal-point riffs,  Dark Tranquillity-style two-guitar sections, and big, open, melodic walls that cave in on you, they have also introduced a lot of “post-y” ambience that has taken their sound to a whole new arena. I quite dig it.

Heavenshore stands on its own and needs no further linguistic endorsement — just listen. It’s a fierce, feral tiger of an album. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I have.


Heavenshore is due for release on August 1, 2015, by Mighty Ape.




  1. Sounds awesome! Divination is very cool, a great slow build 🙂

  2. First of all, thank you for the premiere, I’m done right now to hear it and multiple listens are assured because as you wrote it’s a fierce, tiger of an album. The ambient parts are masterfully glued with the intense emotive side of the songs, and the behind the microphone a great performance, unrestrained indeed, all killer no filler are the right words for this album, when the melody meet the virulence, well, In Dread Response reaches the core of ferocity, emotivity and breathtaking melodies, they know how what “Melodic Death Metal” is and “Heavenshore” proves it, no doubts, one of the highlights of the year!

  3. So we’ve done fucked up and track 3 “1777” is missing. So I’m posting a link to the music video for now until we get it in the playlist.


  4. this is a killer album! worth the wait defintly!

  5. this shit rules. but so do their old records! Sean is just as vocalist good as Ben!

  6. This album impaled me. Excellent solos and drumming. Vocals cut like a scythe. Great review.

  7. Seriously, I waited like three years for this album to come out and now its ( well almost ) here to me at least it feels like coming home after a long, long time.
    Things looks and sounds familiar but you just know somethings has changed.
    ( or maybe I have, who knows ?. )
    Anyway, its a solid, epic and certainly very emotional album but is it to me the ” From the Oceanic Graves ” killer I hoped for ?. ( and is it fair to compare this two albums ?, with the different line-ups and all ?. )
    First of all I fucking love this album !.
    Trajan had sent me the early demo’s so the tunes sounds familiar to me but with Ben’s voice all tracks sounds so epic and bloody awesome. ( i did mention full on emotion before, right ? )
    Corey’s foot and handwork is beyond this world and i like Steve a whole lot better as a guitar player then on bass, you can leave that to Tom who is solid.
    Favorite track after one cycle: Weight
    PS. yes to me its that ” From the Oceanic Graves ” killer I hoped for !.
    Thanks IDR, for not disappointing me ( and for being wicked nice for streaming )
    [ I wrote this at 6am, and a bit drunk so forgive me for any inappropriate language, Sorry ]

  8. I enjoy the music but the vocals aren’t really my style. I think a deeper, more gutteral and less scream-centric approach would make for something better. Just my .02. Ill still check this whole record out because the instrumentation is great.

  9. I was wondering when this review would appear! Got my pre-order the moment they announced it on their facebook feed. It’s an interesting distribution approach having physical sales all via Mightyape (kind of an Amazon-y like site in small time NZ). But on facebook they assure there will digital sales as well.

    In all honesty I’m not finding Ben’s vocals so different from Sean’s.. but ah well I’m not one to quibble when I rate them both. I also wonder what Nikolas Kissel is up to – he was briefly in the band filling in drum duties, and was quite a talented chap I’d like to hear more of. Speaking of ‘post-y’ ambience: I loved the spacey, doomy vibe they got going on ‘The Pendulous Blade’ off Embers… so I’m glad they’ve kept that in the mix as well as the full-on assault.

    Enjoying the stream 🙂

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