CHSR Review: Hero’s Last Rite – The Mirror’s Face

Recently Black Sabbath made a stop in Eastern Canada visiting Halifax and then Quebec City. Half of the people I knew went to Halifax while the other half went to Quebec City for the concert. I love Halifax but I understand why many of my hardcore metal friends made the pilgrimage to go see the godfathers of Metal play in Quebec City; one could argue that it is the metal Mecca of North America. I missed both shows but I did see them on their Farewell Tour in 99 in Vancouver. One of the cool factors about Black Sabbath playing in our backyard recently is that the Farewell part of my concert never actually happened. Why? Because Pop music, like the soft drink, fizzles out overtime. Heavy Metal bands happen to be aging like fine wine. There has been an astonishing amount of successful reformations of classic metal bands, and in many cases, these bands are producing their best output in years. Considering the relative young age of Metal as a genre, I was surprised to see at the Black Sabbath concert three generations of fans sharing an incredible experience together. Metal is the Blues of rock n roll. It is not that hard to consider when listening to the bluesy riffs of classic Sabbath tunes. Heavy Metal has a huge spectrum of sub genres and styles but at its core, it’s the music of the working class. It has roots in dark escapist fantasy, wild parties, kinky sex, hard living and most importantly – it is a culture of acceptance. Enter, Hero’s Last Rite’s new album The Mirror’s Face.

The members of Hero’s Last Rite are seasoned veterans who increasingly get better and better, album after album, they continue to push themselves. These guys have produced their best recording to date, their strongest collection of songs by far, while SPEEDING things up at the sametime. I mean, this record is FAST. It is as if the band simultaneously channelled the 80s Bay Area thrash scene – I can hear some of Exodus’ aggression and some Testament vocal stylings.

Steve McDonald is my favourite front man to see play LIVE. A true entertainer who has an uncanny ability to work the crowd. He owns the stage. The challenge for a great live band like Hero’s Last Rite, is to be able to replicate the LIVE sound in a studio recording. McDonald manages to do just that; his performance on The Mirror’s Face sets the tone of what is simply one of the best Metal releases this year. Tim Gorman and Mike Davidson share axe duties on this record and both of them provide plenty of memorable riffs and solos. Paul Vidal’s bass embeds the hooks on I Am Automic, especially during the breakdowns, or the crushing groove/doom found at the beginning of What I Long For? While the guitars and bass provide a thrashy nostalgia on many of the albums tracks, Dan Rogers’ technical, precise drumming has more similarities with technical death than old school thrash. Rolling fills, machine gun double kicks, and blast beats abound, Roger’s manages to hold it all together.

The songs range from hard rocking anthems, technical death, and late 80s thrash. Old school thrash fans will be happy but there are just as many contemporary influences on this album. Blind Eye Compromise is what would happen if Gojira jammed with 80s Slayer. There maybe some obvious classic references that can be heard in some tracks but then there is the moody blackened intro on Blind Eye Compromise that turns into a Slayer infused onslaught of brutality and speed. These guys are on fire. Save it For My Ghost maybe the hidden gem on the record, being that it is the last song and all, the Morbid Angel tremolo picking with insane dissonance has me hitting repeat. The guitars swarm like a sky full of killer bees. When Gorman and Davidson playoff each other during the harmonic passages, the band is firing on all cylinders. The Plague maybe my personal favourite and possibly the heaviest track on the album with its borage of blast beats, brutal riffs, and borderline hardcore vocal assault.

Metal in particular benefits from really good drum production. Nothing is worse than drums being buried in the mix. On the other hand, overly clean production can really hurt a metal recording. It needs to be a little dirty. Drummer Dan Roger’s produced and mixed the record and it is a noticeable improvement over the previous album Inevitable is The End. The mix was a little too muddy for me but The Mirror’s Face finds the perfect balance between clear and dirty tone. My only complaint would be that the bass is buried at times within the sonic chaos. I would like to hear Vidal slap the bass on the next record. Overall, this is a great sounding record that would benefit from a vinyl release…just saying.

Hero’s Last Rite is an appropriate name for a band of this stature and musicianship. They have just put out an amazing album that I believe is an Instant Classic in the local Metal canon. But most importantly, these hard working group of guys have just released their magnum opus of heavy metal. The Mirror’s Face requires multiple listens and it needs to be heard…LOUD! Highly Recommended

Tim Rayne

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NEW SONG!!! Generation Why

Generation Why

The Mirror’s Face

the_mirrors_face

The Mirror’s Face Track Listing:

The Mirror’s Face
Generation Why
Viral Judgement
Plague
I Am Atomic
Mechanism
Realign
The Voice of Guilt
Blind Eye Compromise
What I Long For
Save It For My Ghost

 

 

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The Mirror’s Face Preview!!

With our release “The Mirror’s Face” having been shipped off for pressing, we thought it would be good to share a song for you guys to damage your hearing with.

Here is the title track: The Mirror’s Face

We anticipate having the new CD’s in our blood soaked hands the last week of April/first week of May!!! Pre-sales soon.

Be sure to check out our CD Release dates HERE!!!! We cannot wait to UNLEASH HELL!!!!

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April Update #1

We did a couple of shows with our buds in 2 Minutes to Maiden to polish our new material that we will be playing for you in our upcoming shows. Lots of positive feedback on our new material!!! We have been working hard to be at our best for you, our fans.

We’re just putting some finishing touches on our new album, The Mirror’s Face, and are currently working on a big promotional push leading up to the release, including talks of another video!!! With that, we have a number of shows this Spring and Summer including a Maritime tour planned. Take note and we’ll see you all really soon!! Posters and Assbook events will follow.

Be sure to keep an eye on our upcoming SHOWS HERE!!!

Here is the cover of The Mirror’s Face. Thanks to Medic Tairie, Jeff Crawford and Manny Peters for the work they did for us. It is not wasted on us, greatly appreciated.

the_mirrors_face

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Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Festival 2014

Holy shit, hide the golf carts!!! Hero’s Last Rite is happier than a pig in excrement that we have been asked to play this amazing event in its second year!!!

Some of the talent included in this event are Black Moor, Hitman, Dischord, Diablo Strange, Beyond Eternal, Chaos Theory just to name a few.

The FaceBook event page is HERE! Check it out, if you buy early bird tickets your name will be put into a draw for Black Sabbath tickets. Time is running out.

Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Fesitval 2014
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2 Minutes to Maiden, Hero’s Last Rite and The Green Lung Grinders @ The Cellar!!

Arguably Canada’s best Maiden tribute band are coming back to The Cellar in the basement of the SUB building and this time they are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Powerslave!! Anyone who’s seen these guys knows they are flawless in their execution and put on an amazing show!! Joining them are Fredericton’s Hero’s Last Rite and The Green Lung Grinders!!! GET READY FOR ONE HELLUVA ASS WHOOPIN!!!!!
INVITE EVERYONE!!!!!
Doors 10pm
$7 or $5 with valid student ID

Poster by Manny Peters

FaceBook Event Page HERE!!!

2 Minutes to Maiden and Hero's Last Rite @ The Cellar
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Album Update!!!

Well, we have been busting our nuts to get our next release out to you all. It is coming along great!!! We have 11 tracks recorded and are now in the mixing stages. The rough tracks are sounding great. Title of the album is “The Mirror’s Face”.

Cover art by Medic Tairie, Band Photos by Jeff Crawford and CD layout by Manny Peters (check out his T’s).

It will be available on our BandCamp page and we will be announcing the release date soon. Physical CD’s will be $10 (plus shipping) with an immediate digital download upon purchase. We will also have our 1st release available with a package deal. Say both CD’s for $15. Plus T’s…

Keep an eye out for a number of shows coming up over the next few months, including our CD release shows.

New website layout coming and we are looking into a crowd fundraiser for our next video.

Hero’s Last Rite would like to say a big thanks to you all for supporting us!!!

Tracking guitar for The Mirror's Face
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Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival Video

Well we had one hell of a time a few weeks back at the Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival. Professional work by Jay Chetwynd and his band of merry men and women for putting this all together. Great event!!!

Weekend of mayhem!!! Metal, beer, buses, bunnies, and golf carts.

Live Footage from Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival. Thanks to Steve Ruxton at Rockin’ HRM.

Personal Plague from Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival


Download | YouTube to MP3

Why We Die from Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival


Download Video with Vixy.net | YouTube to MP3

HELL IN THE CELLAR!! Saturday, October 19th, 2013

We will be playing with Dumpster Mummy (Halifax) and A Code of Silence (Saint John) October 19th at the UNB Cellar, so get your drinking face on!!!

HELL IN THE CELLAR!!
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