Written by: DR on 23/12/2010 01:22:38

I was instantly intrigued by Heirs' second album "Fowl" because it's being released through Denovali Records; for better or for worse, they don't deal in anything ordinary. Every album on that label I've heard has been unique, interesting, and a new musical experience for me. I was then even more intrigued because the genre column is tagged as 'Dark Wave' - something I've never even come across, at all, much less know much about as a genre.

For those of you out there who are as informed about the genre as I, let me try and explain what 'Dark Wave', or at least how Heirs play it, is. In many respects it sounds a lot like a certain Omega Massif album I reviewed not so long ago, for it shares a few tendancies of post-metal. The songs are drawn out, sometimes up to eight or nine minutes in length, during which time they focus guitarwork on being dirty, noisy, distorted, and really, really loud. It's never played at a too high pace though, the drums are largely restricted to slow-to-medium tempo playing that feels almost tribal, to make it seem more sludgy and therefore darker.

Even though I know little about this style of music, I must confess to being impressed by it. The track "Burrow" was immediately the most appealing to me, being one of the less-darker and 'doomier' efforts, resulting in something not too far removed from post-rock in terms of how spacious and empty it is. Opener "Dust" begins with an ominous synth on top of a patiently thumping drum; none of this ever picks up, but they still throw in a noisy-output guitar, which does well to prepare you for the rest of the album. With "Mother" Heirs start to explore soundscapes more whilst still maintaining a pummelling bass-line; rather than finish with a flurry of furious guitars, they have one offering a feedback-tinged groovy riff, making it one of the stand-out songs on "Fowl". They close this album with "Drain", drawing on the intensity of the earlier songs but keeping an atmospheric edge about it.

I've probably drummed this in a bit too much, but both this album and genre were a new experience for me. Whether I'm developing an appreciation for this kind of music, or this particular music is good enough to be universally appreciated, I'm not yet sure, but what I am sure of is this: "Fowl" deserves to be appreciated in any case.

Download: Burrow, Mother
For The Fans of: Omega Massif, Godflesh, Isis
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 15.10.2010
Denovali Records

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