Review 1715 : Herod – Iconoclast – English

Herod announces its third album.

Formed in Switzerland, the band now consisting of Pierre Carroz (guitar/bass), Bertrand Pot (guitar), Michael Pilat (guitar/vocals) and Fabien Vodoz (drums) released their debut album in 2014, followed in 2019 by a signing to Pelagic Records and a second opus, and then by Iconoclast in 2023.

The Icon, the first track, immediately spills the basics of a catchy groovy sound coupled with abrasive sonorities and dissonant leads. The vocal parts give these massive jerky riffs a touch of raw aggression, but they can also make them more soothing like on the final which leads to The Girl with a Balloon, a strangely named track which lets ominous tones introduce a heavy, haunting sound. Vocal parts strengthen the track’s overall mood again, whether in ominous tones or during impressive parts which will accelerate on The Edifice, a composition with a high contrast between the two sides of the band’s universe. The solid basis easily adopts the heavy, catchy and dissonant approach as the few softer elements we will find on the soothing The Ode To…, where a female voice comes to bewitch us before the band goes back to saturation and the majestic riffs. All the voices then mix to answer the massive sound waves, but the track calms down again to progressively ignite and finally let The Becoming put us back in the center of this jerky and aggressive hurricane which constantly bludgeons us. Leads add this the disturbing touch to this crushing mass of sound which slows down on The Intergloom, becoming more airy and contemplative, while letting the slow Post/Sludge influences hypnotize us for a short while, to finally come back to pure rage on The Obsolete and its heartbreaking saturation. The massive, unrelenting stream of riffs is sure to make your head spin, combining the devastating, saturation-laden groove with more hazy elements, but the album comes to an end with The Prophecy, the long final track, which lets the band use a very Prog-like approach to its complementary layers of sound while allowing clean vocals to find their way through the waves of oppression and rage.

With Iconoclast, the band fully assumes its influences, ranging from devastating complexity to oppressive efficiency, while dipping into quieter and more soaring roots. Herod is a name to remember in the future.


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