Five piece band Herder from Groningen/NL have had quite a lot releases since their founding in 2010, the demo album Herder is Harder and their self titled debut full length album in 2011, an EP Horror Vacui in 2012, another EP called Doomed which marked two changes in their line up, the bassist and the vocalist left the band, the bassist was replaced by one of the three guitarists and for the vocalist a new member joined the band. So the Doomed EP was quasi an introduction of the new vocalist.
And now the band is back with their second full length album Gods. The album is basically a brew of Stoner/Doom/Sludge/HC/Psychedelic sounds, … a sophisticated punch in your face.
The title "Gods" hints at the album’s conceptual frame, as the lyrical themes are about the perception of personalized deities of monotheistic religions and their inherent contradictions and absurdities. Musically the oriental melodies and psychedelic melodies and choraliter chanting as well as the pissed off attitude match the scene very well.
The opening song Genesis 321 is an instrumental except for a quite long spoken word sample, a misanthropic reflection about human consciousness being a tragic misstep of evolution (taken from the HBO TV series “True Detective”) and is a perfect introduction to the album’s themes. The following songs are bracingly varying, each with their own features and characteristics. While one song is more of a fast, angry, hateful HC song, the next one might be more of a slow burning heaviness, yet another one is dominated by a deep groove and psychedelic vibe. Each one of them is memorable after the first listen (one of many reasons you will want to hit the play button again and again).
Still the songs are strongly related, not only by the lyrical themes, but also by their main musical features. There’s an inherent bedrock sound that branches out in various directions, focusing on different aspects in each song. The balance of in-your-face aggression and deep grooving psychedelic oriental melodies, the chanting, the tribal drumming, the face melting guitar solos, the omnipresent (bass-)heaviness, the well set word samples… everything is carefully and cleverly composed into songs that are complex but tight. They have depth, but don't lose a bit of their dynamic impact.
That’s quite a bunch of reasons to hit the play button more than once.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]
The song "BetrayerDeceiver" is also featured on The Wicked Lady Show 63.