Heretic – “Breaking Point” (1988)

Heretic!  Breaking Point was this Los Angeles band’s second (and last) release.  The album came out in 1988 on Metal Blade Records.  The European edition of Breaking Point was released through Roadrunner Records.  Breaking Point may be of interest to Metal Church fans, as Mike Howe performed the vocals on this album (but not Heretic’s first EP Torture Knows No Boundary).  Howe went on to front Metal Church for a series of albums after leaving Heretic.

2009 saw Breaking Point re-released on Lost And Found Records.

Heretic fits perfectly into a sub-genre that, in my opinion, was not explored nearly enough in the ’80s.  I’m talking about what one might call “power-thrash”.  Nestled somewhere between the traditional metal stylings of, say, a Judas Priest, and the cleaner thrash of, say, a Metallica, is that illustrious power-thrash sound.  For a point of reference, one of the better known bands that had the power-thrash thing going was the aforementioned Metal Church.  Another good one was Meliah Rage.

Breaking Point kicks off with a the nasty and speedy romp of Heretic.  This is my favorite track on the album.  Howe’s testosterone-laced, yet melodic wail sits upfront in the mix.  The riffs are meaty and biting — but the guitars are a little too quiet!  I wish the production on Breaking Point was a little more in-your-face.  Elsewhere Heretic do well at mixing fast tunes and mid-pace numbers.  Throughout, Howe’s voice is centerpiece.  Though there may not be a single cut that rises above to a level of godliness, Breaking Point is a solid album.  A couple of choice tunes include And Kingdoms Fall and The Circle.  My score: B

 


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