Heriot are a superb embodiment of sinister beauty, of graceful carnage. With two blistering tours with other UK heavy hitters Svalbard and Rolo Tomassi, the quartet has already managed to get a lot of eyes on them, and gathered a buzz of anticipation around the release of their new EP Profound Morality. Their sound rides the fine boundaries of metallic hardcore, shifting gears from full-on frontal assault to suffocating, still atmospherics. Even though Profound Morality will be a lot of people’s first interaction with Heriot as a band, after just one listen of this EP you can tell that this is a labour of love and careful consideration.
This is evident when the band rip into the track ‘Coalescence’, when the band put all the elements they want to convey in their music in one nice package of a track. It has driving drums, screeching vocals from guitarist Debbie Gough, which are counterbalanced by the guttural roars of bass player Jake Pecker, and with industrial breaks put in for good measure, it just shows what a wide ranging sound Heriot has. As great a complement the duelling vocal styles play in Heriot’s sound, it’s the buzzsaw tone of the guitars and the rumbling of the bass which makes it feel like the band are set to rip you apart. Only the rhythmwork of Julian Gage acts as glue, keeping this straining beast from exploding. On ‘Enter the Flesh’, Gage’s quickening and slowing down the pace of the song is phenomenally impressive, like a ship’s anchor occasionally shifted by the eddying currents of guitar and voice.
But it is the record’s closing track and EP title ‘Profound Morality’ where the idea of sinister beauty comes to the fore. There is a heaviness which would not be misplaced in some doom bands, but the way in which Heriot introduce the vocal patterns of both Gough and Pecker gives it an element of something beautiful and mystical, which is almost out of place, yet the group makes it work. For a band who are so early on in their journey through the alternative landscape, Heriot has already ticked off a lot of things many bands would only ever dream of achieving. Now with the addition of the release of Profound Morality, it seems that there is no stopping this quartet and you’d be a fool to even try.
Profound Morality is out on 29th April via Church Road Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck