Last year, my mind was blown when I randomly clicked play on an email about a band called Soldat Hans. The sheer force of the funeral doom that cascaded on me, merged with drone, post-rock, jazz, and more was almost unbearable; the album instantly became one of my favorite releases of the year. I really didn’t expect anything like it to happen again so soon. It’s quite rare for something so overwhelming and crushing to seize me so directly, and from a band I knew nothing about previously to boot! However, it didn’t take long from me to be proven wrong. My expectations were shattered, once again, when I clicked play on Heathe‘s On the Tombstones; The Symbols Engraved from which we’re now proud to premiere the first part.
On the Tombstones; The Symbols Engraved, much like Soldat Hans’ Es Taut, is a brutally slow debut album which channels not only heavy, funeral guitar chords but also a host of brass-like sounds, ambience, horns, strings and more. The end result is even heavier than their Swiss counterparts, diving deep into blackened realms filled with raw vocals and abrasive, apocalyptic tones. This might have something to do with the fact that, at its core, Heathe is a one man project; it has that proclivity towards ultimate self-expression and self-indulgence which screams black metal, allowing the artist to delve even deeper than other genres into the depths of their misery, pain or anger. On the Tombstones does all three.
This makes On the Tombstones as interesting as it is viscerally punishing. Flamboyant guitar solos, made almost entirely of static and feedback, cry out in the background as the crashing chords descend once again; the vocals return from abyssal absences to flourish their bleeding crop across your ears; the horns sound the end of the world; the music swallows you and embraces you, whether you’d like it to or not. Scroll down below to hear the first twenty minutes or so of this almost forty minutes album and then head on over here to pre-order it. It’s set to be one of the most unique and crushing releases of 2019; don’t sleep on it.