Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos
Mascot Records
Thrash Metal
11 songs (68:34)
Release year: 2010
Heathen , Mascot Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Album of the month

After numerous and frustrating delays it's finally here. One of the absolute best thrashers to ever come out of the US is back with the extraordinary The Evolution of Chaos. 18 years have passed since their brilliant masterpiece from '91, what some will claim to be the pinnacle of their career Victims of Deception. Heathen brought fresh blood into the then dying thrash metal scene, and one can only admire the skill of David Godfrey, Lee Altus and Darren Minter, the three members that remain from the glory days. Even though the Japanese bastards got a taste of this a couple of months ago, I'd call this a 2010-release seeing as how us less worthy inhabitants of this planet didn't get a taste until just recently. Along with the new Overkill (which is also reviewed this week) this is probably the most anticipated release for my part this year, and one thing is definitely for sure, Heathen do not disappoint. Not at all.

When Dying Season kicks of after a short eastern influenced intro, it is as if we're back in 1991, when Victims of Deception proved who were the righteous heir to the thrash metal throne back then. When I first heard a sketchy live-clip from a new song a few months back, I thought the guys were going all power metal on my ass. Thankfully, they took my concerns, and thrashed them to death. The technically slick riffs, the crystal clear vocals and the cleanest solo's in thrash are back. Maddening riffs leads the way and Godfrey commands the forces into raging battle. Catchy yet fierce vocal lines, blasting drums, and an overall energy only Sacrifice showed glimpses of last year, brings The Evolution of Chaos lonely to the top. Control By Chaos and the epic and monstrous masterpiece No Stone Unturned drags you violently right back into Victims of Deception while the slow, crushing riffs will snap your neck, and the faint yet great progressive touch just adds to the punishment. What was I thinking being anxious about this? The perfect sense of song-writing hasn't been squandered over the past two decades, and with the old-school feeling so many try to capture, but rarely succeeds, thrash metal again shows very distinct signs of life, as the boys in Heathen flash their magic.

After the 11-minute monster, the road goes straight to hell as Arrows of Agony cripples you and the slightly groovy Fade Away wrecks your neck with devastating finishing blows generated by Lee Altus and Kragen Lum's fantastic axeman-ship. The only weak point here, which I'm sure every patriotic American would enjoy, is the sympathizing war-anthem A Hero's Welcome, which in all honesty sounds like a Hammerfall-title. It's slow, and not very lively at all. However, the neat soloing raises the bar a few notches, and it's all forgotten when the blood-shedding takes place with Undone and Bloodkult. Huge riffs crushes the highest of mountains, and necks break with every stroke, head-splitting beat and enforcing vocals. The slightly modern Red Tears of Disgrace and rocking closer Silent Nothingness finishes off a tremendous comeback that I certainly didn't expect but so eagerly wished for.

The Evolution of Chaos marks for a blazing start to 2010, and the only album that can possibly top this is the new Overkill. However, both albums are extremely even in terms of quality, so I'm not able to choose between them just yet. Luckily, I have eleven more months to make up my mind. To be honest, my interest in thrash has faded lately, and after being on that particular wave for a long time, I find it to be natural that I'm approaching other genres more. However, this fuels the fire that will always burn for the genre that holds a very special place in my heart. Brilliant, near perfect effort from Heathen, and quite possibly the best album they have ever released.

Killing Songs :
All except A Hero's Return
Thomas quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Heathen that we have reviewed:
Heathen - Victims of Deception reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Heathen - Breaking The Silence reviewed by Thomas and quoted 90 / 100
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