Taking visual inspiration from Mushroomhead, Heist 2-11 is definitely one of the most interesting modern UK bands from an ascetic standpoint. However, instead of the industrial music and multiple vocalists, Heist takes a more modern metal approach to their sound with heavy guitar riffs, singular clean(ish) vocals, and huge, club-filing choruses. Having only been together for a few years, their sound is refined and awesome. So far, the band has released three singles under their name and I took some time to check them out!
Their debut single from 2019, ‘Fight’, opens on one hell of a drum roll before a quick grunt/scream leads into a heavy, almost thrash guitar riff. The tempo does let up and results in the drums working overtime to give us a fantastic, fast beat. The vocals come in, mostly sounding clean but with a slight harshness to them – almost akin to some of Robb Flynn’s latest work. Speaking of the vocals, they are catchy even during the verses and have a fantastic level of power to them. The catchy, slightly slower building section leads into a great chorus. Gang vocals always sound fantastic in metal songs, especially when they are used in a chorus, and add to the catchiness – giving a live crowd something to sing to and interact with. It drops down after the second chorus with the focus on the low vocals, a single guitar riff and the heavy-sounding low toms from the guitars. It slowly builds up, giving off even more Machine Head vibes as the drums sound a lot like the start of ‘Imperium’. We head into a great little breakdown with some screams over the top. If anything, the screams could have been focused on more as they were short and over way too soon, but the following half of the breakdown was still enjoyable. We head into a great final chorus to finish things off. I have to admit I didn’t like the weird high note in the middle, especially when they put the mic cutting out effect over the top of it, but it’s a minor complaint about an otherwise great song.
‘I Am Alive’ bursts straight into a great, heavy modern metal riff. It drops down into a nu-metal/post-grunge-feeling verse, building up into a harder one midway through. I love the guitar tone these guys are using and it works so well with the semi-clean vocals over the top. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the chorus for this one wasn’t as strong as the first one. It was still alright, but it wasn’t as catchy even with the gang backing vocals. The highlight of this song for me has to be the bridge/breakdown section after the second chorus. The riff, whether it’s the heavy open chord version or the more reserved parts, the riff is badass and the screamed vocals over the top added to the heaviness of the track. Plus, we have a great guitar solo in here too which is pretty technical and interesting to add over the top of some surprisingly slow rhythm work. We get another final chorus before a pretty heavy version of the bridge takes us home. Not quite as good as the first track but it was definitely still an enjoyable song.
The most recent one, ‘Save Me’, is up next. Starting on a sick little bass riff and a bass drum, the guitar soon comes in to add some depth and heaviness to it. It’s a stomping, heavy start, and it doesn’t let up once throughout the track. The double bass in the second half of the verse makes it somehow even heavier, as do the vocals, and pick up in intensity. The choruses are easily the catchiest of the three songs – it has even more of a post-grunge feel to it because of the call and response vocals featuring easy-to-sing-along-to-live lyrics and melody. We then get another fantastic solo which is even better than the previous one in my opinion. It fits perfectly over the top of the rhythm work. It continues a little into the breakdown riff and reminds me big time of Avenged Sevenfold, which is never a bad thing! The breakdown doesn’t last long enough but we also get a build-up riff coming out of it, heading into a fantastic bridge. The lyrics over this part are awesome, too. Again, we get an epic double chorus before a great outro breakdown riff finishes it off. Another fantastic song, and one that made my personal playlist!
Overall: I really enjoyed these songs. These guys are a breath of fresh air in the UK music scene at the minute – one that has struggled for a good 10+ years now at creating some great, straight-up metal bands. There is always some great lighter stuff and some fantastic heavier stuff, but there is never a lot of great old-school metal anymore. Fortunately for us, these guys do it very, very well. I look forward to hearing what they do in the future and hopefully I’ll be able to catch them live somewhere soon!
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