Review by Adam M on April 30, 2019.
Herod is very similar in nature to Neurosis, but they bring an additional jackhammer punch to the mix. This is very dark and gritty music that brings the riffage to back up their mood quite effectively. There is a definite impact to the songs here as they pummel the listener. But this is only one element of their music as the atmosphere they create is equally effective in its darkness.
The music is definitely nihilistic, but it also manages to create a seamless mood to back everything up. The band does lay off the heaviness from time to time as can be seen from the beginning of Don’t Speak Last, which is a nicely varied track. The mood is still somewhat negative even during the more sombre moments on the disc. It is quite an ability to make the songs atmospheric and pummelling at the same time, but that is what Herod has been able to do on this disc. They are similar to Neurosis, but put more aggression in their songs than even them. It’s this ability to stick out from the pack that makes Sombre Dessein such a refreshing listen and one of the better ones that I’ve heard from the year so far. The vocals are harsh, yet effective in maintaining the mood the band is going for. The guitar work is very abrasive and nicely fits in with the band’s vision as well. Drumming does a good job backing up the rest of the material. This band is a fiery spark waiting to ignite.
However, they aren’t perfect. When compared directly to my favourite album of last year by The Ocean, Sombre Dessein comes a bit short. It simply does have the amount of splendid moments that album had. It still is the best post-metal experience to arrive in 2019 so far and should be looked upon in a very positive note because of it.
Rating: 7.7 out of 10