Herod are a progressive/post-metal band from Switzerland and this is their third album.
The Iconoclast is the follow up to 2019’s Sombre Dessein and contains 51 minutes of new material.
The music on The Iconoclast combines elements of post-metal, progressive metal, hardcore, sludge metal, and a pinch of mathcore, into a progressive monster of heaviness and atmosphere. The promo blurb mentions acts like Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Cult of Luna, which gives a good starting point for Herod’s sound. I’d also throw in some references at select places to acts like Neurosis, Breed 77, Earthtone9, Alice in Chains, Sermon, American Headcharge, and Vile Creature. As you can see, The Iconoclast is not a one-dimensional experience.
Very muscular, yet deft and nuanced, these well-crafted songs display a breadth of ability that’s compelling. The album flows across different moods and feelings, with each song having its own part to play in the whole. Herod build soundscapes with ease, all fixated on that special nexus where heaviness and atmosphere meet and enrich each other.
Much of The Iconoclast builds atmosphere through heaviness, and Herod are adept at this approach. Their use of meaty groove is enough to get you moving, even while frequently being of an atypical sort. These rhythmic patterns are rarely deployed for their own sake though; typically they exist to further the musical journey and work in collusion with the emotive or atmospheric properties to draw the listener in close. Herod also incorporate a few different ideas throughout the songs, including some notable creative flourishes such as the choir in the exceptional The Ode To… Guests from Cryptopsy and The Ocean appear too, both adding their stamp to their respective tracks, (The Edifice and, especially notably, The Prophecy).
The Iconoclast sees Herod pushing their sound and style to the next level. Their approach to atmospheric heaviness takes strengths from both worlds, and has resulted in a well-rounded album that makes for a rewarding and satisfying listen.
Very highly recommended for any fan of modern heavy music.