Album Review: Hero's Last Rite - 'Inevitable is the End' (2010)

by Martin

The first word that comes to mind when I listen to Hero's Last Rite is RESPECT. These boys definitely have their shit together, and you can tell they've worked really hard on this, their debut album, 'Inevitable is the End'. It's straight death metal, no prefixes or qualifiers here. Drummer Dan Rogers is a powerhouse--apparently he recorded the whole thing too, in his own studio(!)--the man is pure talent as far as I'm concerned. Very impressive playing from everyone actually, this is a super-tight record, all the way through. Even with focused listening I could hardly detect a mistake or slight timing variation. Amazing.

As I listened I noticed myself making pronouncements about HLR, the first being "they're good, but they're not doing anything new", then "the lyrics aren't very interesting", then "all the songs sound the same, just techincal riff after riff". Well, each of these thoughts were turned on their heads as I made my way through the album. HLR suprised me time after time--just when I thought I knew who they were and what they were doing, they would switch it up and prove me wrong. Some statements were dismissed early, while some stayed a while--which in a way was good, provided a musical continuity, and didn't shock me by introducing too much change all at once.

The vocals are really well done too. I'm not usually a fan of growling lyrics, but Steve McDonald does a great job at making it tough but always intelligible. He also suprised me with lines with great insight into the human experience. Intelligible AND intelligent.

The song 'Hero's Last Rite' is a touching tribute to a metal legend, and really sticks out as the best song on the album in my opinion. Not the most musically or technically impressive, but something about the raw emotion grabs me on this one.

Who knew these guys are making this high-calibre professional-sounding music... in New Brunswick! Keep it up boys, let's hear some more!

What I didn't like: I listened in headphones and the cut-outs in the recording (for shots, etc) actually hurt my ears at one point. Probably fine in speakers, but I thought my eardrum was going to break... weird. In some ways I think that speaks of overproduction; sure, that's the sound of the genre, but it's too much for me in some spots. Especially if it breaks my ears. There's a couple (like 3) other places where the recording could be better too, some edits are a bit too noticeable (for me anyway). This is just from me being a nit-picky recording type, but something I'd like to see paid more attention on the next album. If it's going to be that good, it should be perfect.

'Bleed', the last song, the only one which stepped away from the relentless metal assault, came too late and too short. I would have liked some mellow intros/outros on some songs throughout the album to change it up a bit. HLR does the quiet sound well, just let's hear it more often. It would have been nice if "all the songs sound the same, just techincal riff after riff" didn't stay with me until the last 3 minutes.

Required listening for death metal fans (but not in headphones...). Check 'em out at:
and get a load of the drum cams!


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