(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
There are many times when the term “avant-garde” is used in music journalism and to be honest, sometimes it is good and applicable but other times, not so much. I think many reviewers use it when certain music has them scratching their heads. The latter is not the case here today though, for when I refer to Calgary, Alberta’s Heyoka’s Mirror as avant-garde, they definitely are.
All you have to do to verify that claim is take their latest release, the “Loss Of Contact With Reality” EP, for a listen. The three song recording just dropped a mere handful of weeks ago and it is a truly unique listen. Constructed on a solid base of progressive metal to begin with, these guys add in some intense amounts of nu-metal and then execute both in a fierce stand-alone sonic stampede.
At times, perhaps a bit quirky, but not in any detrimental or deficient way whatsoever. Not at all, as Andrew Balboa (Vocals, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitars), Omar Sultan (Guitars), and Bayan Sharafi (Drums) deliver a sound perhaps best compared to what a Between The Buried And Me and System Of A Down or Dog Fashion Disco mashing might sound similar to.
While things are kept tightly wound for the most part, there are some moments of a psyche-infused experimental nature. Just delve into the track “Time Manager” for a very distinctly revealing song hinting at what all possibilities exist here. That song is book-ended by the intro number “Face Of Void” and closing cut, “Chronovisor“. The three combined are an immensely worthwhile reward should you accept the challenge to check them out.
That challenge did initially come with an added bonus – albeit a temporary one. The NYP offer ended at the end of 2017 and I kind of dropped the ball on that fact so hey, if you do dig this then pay for it! Heyoka’s Mirror‘s recently issued “Loss Of Contact With Reality” is streaming via Bandcamp below.