This makes the third time in our long, wretched history that we’ve had the honor of premiering music from Vancouver’s Heron. First, three-and-a-half years ago, it was a stream of their second EP, Fire Twin. The second occasion, two years ago, was a track from their debut album, A Low Winter’s Sun. And now, we present “Void Eater“, while helping to announce the new Heron album on which it will appear.
That album, entitled Time Immemorial, will be released in a variety of formats on May 15th by Sludgelord Records. And while Heron have already proven themselves through their previous releases to be a formidable force for skull-fracturing, soul-shattering intensity, Time Immemorial leads them (and us) even deeper into dark dimensions of dread and despair, of physical trauma and mental dislocation, and its ravaging, visceral impact is undeniable.
It is, of course, a coincidence that the album is being released in the midst of such dark and desperate times, but it nevertheless seems to be a soundtrack tailor-made for what most of us are now experiencing in our lives. “Void Eater” is a prime example of that. It’s physically brutalizing, mentally destabilizing, but insidiously infectious, and leaves a lasting, haunting aftertaste in the mind.
The song is a slow burn, launched by cranium-rattling drum beats with a ritualistic rhythm, overlaid by eerie, dismal guitar exhalations. The band begin to ramp up with a more brain-popping beat and more sinister and abrading guitar noises, combining with a mix of savage roars and truly incinerating screams. A python-thick riff emerges, slowly twisting and contorting but also hammering and gouging at your bone marrow, contributing to the song’s ever-increasing intensity.
The music is at once bruising, bleak, and unnerving — but its compulsive, pounding momentum pays tribute to your instinctive need to move, even as the lead guitar’s reverberations resemble choking wails of hopeless misery.
On May 15 Sludgelord will release Time Immemorial on vinyl, cassette tape, and digitally. Cassettes within Canada will also be available through Coup Sur Coup Records. Backed by the new album, Heron are also planning a Western U.S. tour for the fall of 2020 and a European tour in early 2021. And surely by then, we will be permitted, and more than ready, to flock back to live stages.