Being that I have reviewed the last two records by Seattle's Heiress, it only makes sense to take a stab at their newest record, Of Great Sorrow. After ordering a copy of the record on vinyl from the Heiress Bandcamp page, (It's the only way to grab a copy of the record now, as The Mylene Sheath is sold out) I realized simply by track length that the band had expanded upon the sound it developed on 2013's Early Frost. When listening to the 7 minute "Beyond Fevering", I longed for an album that followed the more progressive and sludgy formula presented. It seems that the band members have shaken the identities of their former bands, and released a product with a more realized and focused sound.

The first thing worth mentioning is the change in production style from the previous record. Not that things have taken a step up or down, but overall things sound much more aggressive. The lack of cleaner production just makes things sound heavier. The guitars are more saturated and in your face, while vocalist John Pettibone's vocals are buried in the instrumental chaos, only to take the forefront once the chaos settles. The drums and bass are at certain times the focal point instrumentally, and tonally combine to a dominant rhythm section.

The peaks and valleys each song takes are always a treat for my ears, the aforementioned breaks in the chaos help make the dynamics so much more impactful. Tracks like "Held" build in intensity from start to finish, never carrying on too long, while "Old Haunts" maintains an ominous feel while being accented by crushing floor tom hits. Title track and album opener "Of Great Sorrow" may be the heaviest track the band has ever written, while the opening distorted bass riff and following chaos of "Blading" gets me pumped while writing this.

This record is a great representation of what Heiress is capable of as a band, and I greatly anticipate what they decide to do next. It's very much a shame that touring isn't really in the cards, most of the band's few live shows stick to their native Seattle. However, never say never right? Of Great Sorrow is available digitally from most outlets, but a "Gold and Beer" variant vinyl record is much cooler than a fucking mp3. Check out a track below: