Bursting out of Tokyo, Japan comes Melodic/Symphonic Electro Death/Thrash Metal band Heterogeneous Andead. Their sound is derived from Thrash and Progressive metal, with elements of Electronic and Symphonic accompanying, and all of them unleashed in a blend of mezzo-soprano and female growl voices.

Heterogeneous Andead was started by Yusuke Kiyama in 2012 that came into full fruition in 2013, with current vocalist Haruka joining in 2014. Their first EP titled “Undead” was released in 2015 and hit No. 266 in TERRORIZER Magazine. In 2017, the band debuted their first full album titled “Deus Ex Machina” for Japan, and the addition of bassist Takashi Onitake. They later joined the compilation of “Imperative Music Compilation – Volume 14” on DVD alongside Kreator and Obituary in Brazil that showed off their talent in the Metal scene. In 2018, their first album was finally released to a worldwide audience via Wormholedeath records which allowed them to upload their first Music Video for “Automaton” from that album. Joining in late 2018 was guitarist Masaya Kondo, and drummer Tomoyuki Nakano, where in shortly after, in 2019, “Denied” also debuted on YouTube from “Deus Ex Machina”.

With the departure of Kondo, Sho joined and live performances were stopped so that the making of the second album could commence. After suffering the hit of the pandemic as many others had, the band saw both Takashi and Sho leave in 2021, leaving the current line-up as Haruka on Vocals, Yusuke Kiyama on Guitars and Synth, and Tomoyuki on Drums.

Despite these unfortunate events, the release of their third album, “Chaotic Fragments” will see its debut on April 8th, 2022. The band did not stagger onward but rather solidified their concepts and aimed to further improve the level of their musical skill. Songs feature more progressive elements, with new changes on the horizon, and the addition of synthesizer elements that are more amplified than in previous tracks.

We kick things off with the thrash-heavy beat of “The Void Sacrifice” that puts forth deep, demonic growls that seem both unnatural and throw us completely off guard. Haruka’s vocal range is astronomical, bouncing from ferocious growls to airy highs in swift, seamless transition. The power in this track is relentless, with synthesizers dragging down the walls and drums bashing through our skull. The operatic soprano element adds a touch of class to a track that’s vicious in its musical execution, creating shock and awe from beginning to end.

“Fragments of Memories” is up next, greeting us with electronic beats and furious riffs that get you moving. At just over 8-minutes, this track is a musical experience that truly displays the range of instrumental talent this band has up their sleeve. Heavier thrash once more takes grip, adding in the Death Metal lows that grind us to a pulp while beating along without hesitation. Haruka once more proves she’s capable of her skill, putting on the growls with ease before ascending to the heavens in her graceful highs. A jaw-dropping breakdown of drums enters a riveting guitar solo that has us climbing the walls in sheer awe with its breakneck speed and expert delivery.

The third track, “Last Reverie” unleashes speed and power in an explosion of synthesizer blasts and heavy drumming. A breakdown at the midway part brings in the emphasize of synthesizer usage that is accompanied by a corrosive riff that nails us to the wall. The backing screeches, and terrifying sound emitted from both guitar and synth is admirable and frightening in combination making this track on that’s musically complex yet, simple in understanding.

The sound that comes with “Beautiful Nightmare” is exquisite – fueled by a Death Metal foundation, this track is atmospheric and low in its introduction, making me suspicious until it throws me into hell to fight for my life. The synthesizer once more plays the role of building tension, furthering the journey into the hellish landscape by harmonizing against the shattering drums. It’s as if there is hope against the blood-stained horizon, that’s fighting against the fast-flying riffs and heavy beat of drums to lure you further in.

The fifth track, titled “Fission” brings Thrash back in a low blend with Death Metal vibes to give you a rush of adrenaline before meeting Electronic elements in a clash of power. Haruka once again brings her growls to another level, building on the depth before letting them rise in staggering intensity. Her operatic highs on this track are elusive, providing relief from the death before us yet leading it right to us for the kill. The mixture of melodic influence on this track, against the heaviness is stunning, moving from one influential element to the next and allowing a brief lapse that’s flawless and surprising. It feels like a strange musical, in which I play an unfamiliar role and am merely a puppet, paraded across a dimly lit stage.

“Mirror of the Lie” breaks down the barriers of expectation with its synthesizer fronted metal rush that brings in the hammerhead of drumming, and the rapid strings to complete its mission. The melody of this track is lighter, allowing for vocals to stay on point and at the front of our focus. There is a ferocious drum solo partway through that takes my breath away by its sheer power, breaking through for spastic riffs and synth to once more takeover. Yet again, a track that allows for the spotlight to move from one target to the next and show all the influences that Heterogeneous Andead has to work with.

Falling to the end, we meet “Regrettable” that really focuses on the elements of Melodic and Death Metal to its core. With deep lows and synthetic harmonies, this track is an absolute banger, leaving a pile of bodies in its wake. Haruka leaves none alive as she unleashes ungodly lows with her tenacious growls. The instrumentals on this track are wall to wall insane, with chaotic drops, and nerve-wracking breakdowns that leave me breathless. There is a moment of synthesizer intensity that matches the drumbeats in strength, while the guitars take a backseat in place to harmonize before once more jumping forward. Naturally, Haruka still boasts a gorgeous display of soprano talent in her gentle performance against the chaos at her back that makes this track wildly explosive in both talent and sound.

To the end, we find “Licking” – a track that once more takes on the heaviness of dark drumming and harnesses our vision on the instrumentals before gracing us with Haruka’s vocals nearly 2 minutes in. We get to hear the length and draw of Haruka’s mezzo-soprano training in full on this track, with her voice enduring stretched notes and lingering highs without shake or pause. It goes without saying that she drops back into the hellish growls, belting them out just as skillfully as her highs and still leaving me with eyebrows raised at her talent. The break just after 5-minutes puts guitars at the front, and symphonic tone in power before dropping into one of the wildest solos I’ve heard in AGES. There is passion, fury, and fierce determination in this track that goes unparalleled.

In all, “Chaotic Fragments” is full of surprises and still leaves me in complete awe of the mixture and skill that Heterogeneous Andead has crafted over the years. Their dedication and commitment to growth and expansion has allowed them to continue pushing the boundaries of Metal sub genres, letting them dip their oars into each and paddle through on calm waters. I came in expecting full growls and thrash metal heart but was left breathless by the sheer command of instrumental diversity and staggering vocal displays.

Favourite Tracks: Fragments of Memories, Fission, Licking