Swiss metal quartet, Herod, have no idea what to call their music, so they allow people to use the term “atmospheric groove metal”, as if that can succeed in conveying what they do. They play metal, yes. They also experiment with the same rhythmic dynamics as Meshuggah and exhibit a similar avant-garde ambition to Cult of Luna. Indeed, Cult of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg mastered their latest album. If you’ve heard the two singles leading up to the new record, you’ll know that Iconoclast promises to be one of the heaviest albums of 2023.
Some of you will know vocalist, Michael Pilat, as the former bassist and singer on The Ocean’s 2007 LP, Precambrian. But the mastermind behind this music is chief composer, Pierre Carroz, who started Herod in 2014. Now ready to release the band’s third full-length record, we asked Pierre to explore the three albums that changed his life as a musician.
3. Scarlet – This Was Always Meant to Fall Apart (2006)
Scarlet is a chaotic hardcore band in the vein of the early Every Time I Die or Norma Jean. This scene is very important to me because it saved me from nu metal in the early 2000s.
This album represents a big influence of Herod and of my way of composing guitar riffs. I’m not a big fan of clean voices in metal, but I really like the cleans in this record.
Intense, complex and chaotic music. A record that I listen to again very often.
2. System of a Down – System of a Down (1998)
I remember the precise moment when I first heard ‘Suggestions’ on the local radio, in my brother’s room, with whom I was making music at the time. Instant goosebumps!
I was a teenager, and this album was exactly what I needed at the time – angry guitar riffs with an eastern touch, committed political lyrics, and a possessed and totally mastered voice. It’s a kind of magical album with a certain mastery of the beginnings.
I often have moments of nostalgia when I go back to see live videos of that time. Produced by Rick Rubin, of course.
1. Meshuggah – Chaosphere (1998)
No one was ready to listen to Chaosphere in 1998, and neither was I. I got into Meshuggah in 2002 with Nothing, which made me discover a more complex and deviant facet of music.
Put in context, it is unimaginable for me to realise that the members of Meshuggah were in their twenties when they composed and produced this album.
I am completely obsessed with the late 90s Meshuggah. Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere are albums that marked their time, and the production is superb for the time.
*** Herod release their third album, Iconoclast, via Pelagic Records on 5 may 2023. You can pre-order it here.