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What is Exodus doing in my Heathen soup? - 20%

Ziomaletto, May 31st, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Nuclear Blast

Heathen are some one legendary sons of bitches. Their discography may seem almost laughable, but don't let that fool you - all three albums are masterpieces of technical thrash metal. You may wait almost a quarter of your life to have them released, but it was guaranteed that you're in for an unforgettable trip. However, I can't fathom what happened during composing and recording this monstrosity called 'Empire of the Blind'. To put it mildly, this album sucks ass.

It starts nicely, 'This Rotting Sphere' and 'The Blight' are definitely the most Heathen-like and the only songs worth a shit. They have everything you expect from a Heathen song - great hooks, awesome cheesy melodies, David White is an awesome singer. Sadly, after that I lose any interest in this record.

One thing I have to make clear - this is not a Heathen album. Each of 10 songs played after 'The Blight' have none of Heathen's charm. It is filled with slow and boring slogs that would be more at place in some lame-ass groove/heavy metal band. Or fucking Exodus. Even faster songs have no interesting hooks or trademark Heathen melodies. How come that happened? I tried to give this album a fair shot and listen to it entirely, but after track 4 or 5 I just give up. It feels like I'm listening to the same song over and over. Even the title track starts promising, but after first 30 seconds completely ruins it by turning into a slow slog. Sometimes the song will tease fast pace, like 'In Black' only to also be just a slow paced trash.

It seems Atlus' and Lum's involvement in Exodus (live, at least) have deeply affected Heathen's songwriting. Combined with overproduced sound completely destroying any dynamic this music could have and phoned-in delievery of David White (I can't blame you, man, I would also have no excitement if I had to record vocals for this album), it is easily not only the worst Heathen album, but just might be the worst "thrash" metal release since 'Worship Music'. It might be even worse, since Anthrax's discography became a joke already, but Heathen were meant to be unmatched! Remember 'Force of Habit' and how hated this album was? Yeah, this is basically this. But no, Heathen somehow got a pass. Fuck this album. Even though I wish the best for these guys.

Do yourself a favour and just download 'The Blight' and 'This Rotting Sphere'.