Roel de Haan : The German post-metallers of Heretoir have made a new album and boy does it hit the mark! ‘The Circle’ (their second full-length) represents a stylistic change from their self-titled debut. ‘Heretoir’ were already one the more interesting acts within the post black metal realm although criminally overlooked, but now there is no excuse for not checking this out. They have done the impossible. Taking elements of djent, shoegaze, black metal and prog; Heretoir has crafted a groundbreaking album. Imagine the rhythmic and progressive elements from bands such as Leprous or Periphery, the soothing melodic, melancholy riffing of Alcest and the emotional charge of Katatonia and occasional outbursts of aggression stemming from black metal all fluently following each other and also coexisting harmonious. Resulting in songs that are highly emotional, musically challenging and wholly immersive. The variety within the music is supported by a range of vocal approaches from screams or hoarse to clean. Heretoir elegantly avoids sounding contrived by balancing the elements in their frequency op appearance. The resulting album crosses genre limitations in a seemingly effortless fashion. ‘The Circle’ is more than a mere collection of influences, it elevates them. What an album!