In heavy metal, genre scrambles fail as often as they work. We might go so far as to say that failures exceed successes. Most listeners have pronounced preferences in the kind of music they listen to, and even among those who find a certain degree of mixing attractive, there are limits to their tolerance. Even among “music critics”, there’s a tendency to proclaim that genre-crossing bands are either confused about what they want to be or try too hard to be everything to everyone.
Andzjel, the forthcoming ninth album by the multi-talented Czech band Heiden, is undeniably a genre-scramble of a record. Moreover, the band themselves have a pronounced history of change. If you look at Metal-Archives, you’ll see this genre-jumble: “Black Metal (early); Post-Black Metal/Rock (mid); Post-Rock (later)” — and that doesn’t reflect what has happened on Andzjel, which itself represents another pivot.