REVIEW: Heron – A Low Winter’s Sun

Release date: April 13, 2018

A Low Winter’s Sun, the first full-length from Heron, sees the band continue to build on the blend of doom and sludge influences previously heard on Fire Twin and a self-titled release.

Right from the word go, on opener ‘Of Gods and Goats,’ Heron lets you know what it is all about with some meaty riffs. The intro is allowed to build ominously for nearly two minutes before Heron really lets loose. Once they do, though, they’re not pulling any punches.

This is guttural, dirty metal which lives up to the worst nightmares of suburban mothers. With a pair of singers who sound possessed and face-melting riffs, you don’t have to worship Satan but you should worship Heron.

On top of that basic sludge/doom metal mix, Heron brings in layers from other genres (such as psych and post-rock) to prevent A Low Winter’s Sun from growing stale at any point. These additional influences flesh out the band’s sound and provide a progression from its previous EPs.

What really sets Heron apart from a lot of other doom/sludge outfits is how crisp the sound is. The band claims to be on “a never-ending search for perfect tone,” and that search must have been fruitful if this album is anything to go on. You can really hear each individual element, even some of the more delicate drum sounds which could easily get lost on a record as heavy as this one.

As well as Heron’s own professionalism, credit for that should be shared with the recording and mixing of the prolific Jesse Gander at Rain City Recorders and the mastering of Audiosiege’s Brad Boatright.

A bright start for such a dark band, I have no doubt that Heron will use this strong first album as a stepping stone on their “never-ending search for the perfect tone.” I’ll be looking forward to more from the Vancouver four-piece.

Also worth mentioning is the album art by Cryptworm, which perfectly represents the glowering, occult nature of A Low Winter’s Sun.

A Low Winter’s Sun by Heron was released by Sludgelord Records on April 13, 2018. Head over to Bandcamp to snap up a copy of this album as a digital download or on CD.