sunday | 23h45-00h45 | morgue
In the 80s Heathen were one of the progenitors of the Bay Area thrash scene together with Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Death Angel and Vio-lence.
Their 1987 rookie release ‘Breaking the Silence’ is a thrash record with obvious NWOBHM influences, whereas follow-up ‘Victims of Deception’ (1991) is a classic example of technical/progressive Bay Area thrash. In 1992 the band members went their separate ways but the new millennium inspired guitarist and driving force Lee Altus to revive the band. ‘The Evolution of Chaos’ wasn’t released until 2009 but nearly two decades of radio silence didn’t dull Heathen’s edge. A shitload of meaty riffs, skin-flaying solos and intricate melodies make the relaunch a vibrant return to form. ‘Empire of the Blind’ (2020) didn’t drop until just over a decade later because a few band members were otherwise engaged. Hailed as some of their best work, it’s a slab that hearkens back to the golden age of Bay Area thrash. The lyrical themes are contemporary, dealing with such topics as social media, government treachery and the COVID pandemic. Bay Area thrash at its crunching best!