Hero Destroyed's debut album, Throes, raises two key issues: first, how pervasive Mastodon's influence has become across the modern heavy metal spectrum; and, second, how the "metalcore" tag can be applied to an almost infinite range of sounds (as well as what's hip and has-been), because its parent genres have grown so diverse (or diluted, depending on who you ask) over decades of evolution. Subject for you consideration: Hero Destroyed is a suitably blue-collar Pittsburgh-based outfit that clearly knows its traditional hardcore/straightedge history, but has also honed its craft practicing finger-numbing scales and alien chord progressions inspired by the Dillinger Escape Plan and their math-metal equivalents…and then Mastodon came along. This is the only viable explanation as to why "Iron Lion," "Army of Dracoons," "The Last Upper," "You Might as Well Go to Plan B," and countless other tracks found on Throes are filled with the serpentine guitar parts and challenging percussion of math-metal, yet present them in comparatively streamlined, somewhat less traumatizing and, yes, progressive arrangements. Mind you, this tactic in no way cushions the band's incredibly heavy blows, nor excuses the need for repeat listens to make sense of it all; if they did, it wouldn't feel like the skies were opening up so that melodies could float down like roly-poly cherubs at the onset of the instrumental "Cerberus" and album-closer "Wickerbasket Splinter." As a wise man once said, there's no way to recognize the real power of ugly extremity until true beauty puts it into proper context. Hero Destroyed could still use a little more beauty in their music, but the promise shown on Throes will just about do at the dawn of their career.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia