Heretic Pride

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Heretic Pride
Heretic pride cover.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 18, 2008
GenreFolk rock, indie rock
ProducerScott Solter, John Vanderslice
The Mountain Goats chronology
Get Lonely
Heretic Pride
The Life of the World to Come

Heretic Pride is the eleventh studio album by the Mountain Goats, released in the UK on February 18, 2008, and in the US on February 19 by 4AD, their sixth album on the label. It is the first to feature the band's lineup of John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, and Jon Wurster.[1] The album was produced by Scott Solter and John Vanderslice.


According to Pitchfork, the album takes its title from Aura Noir's song "Black Deluge Night" (found on their 2004 album The Merciless) which contains the couplet "Soaring demons now swarm the skies/ In awe and heretic pride".[2]

A three-page comic book press kit was created for this album, with John Darnielle giving a brief text description of each song and songwriter/artist Jeffrey Lewis providing the illustrations.[3] This art is not included in the album packaging, and was created only for promotional usage prior to album release.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[5]
Blender3/5 stars[6]
The Guardian4/5 stars[8]
Paste Magazine4/5 stars[10]
Slant2.5/5 stars[12]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[13]
Twisted Ear4/5 stars[14]

Heretic Pride received mostly positive reviews, with website Metacritic projecting an aggregate score of 74/100.[15] The Guardian critic Maddy Costa praised the album as "13 absorbing songs, sparingly orchestrated to concentrate attention on the lyrics [...] that grows more enveloping with every listen.".[16] Pitchfork critic Zach Baron awarded the album a rating of 8.0/10, and notes that it marks a return to earlier Mountain Goats albums, both musically and lyrically, and praises the album for its balance, stating "For every furious declaration, there's a moment of uncertainty." [2]

On the negative side, Mojo awarded the album only 2/5, arguing that "[t]he polished arrangements of Heretic Pride do Darnielle's songwriting no favours".[17] Similarly, despite acknowledging that John Darnielle "is a monstrously talented guy," Slant Magazine criticises the album for going over old territory, arguing that Darnielle "has covered every last of these inches before," and that "[t]he lack of the sort of overarching theme that powered previous discography standouts Tallahassee and The Sunset Tree through their dull bits means that these moments rob the record of a lot of momentum and goodwill." [18]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by John Darnielle.

1."Sax Rohmer #1"3:41
2."San Bernardino"3:19
3."Heretic Pride"3:43
5."New Zion"2:55
6."So Desperate"3:21
7."In the Craters on the Moon"3:32
8."Lovecraft in Brooklyn"3:49
9."Tianchi Lake"3:20
10."How to Embrace a Swamp Creature"3:27
11."Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident"3:21
12."Sept. 15 1983"3:43
13."Michael Myers Resplendent"2:52
Total length:44:37
iTunes bonus track
Total length:46:55
Amazon bonus track
14."Last Man on Earth"3:56
Total length:48:33



  1. ^ Darnielle, John. Bio Archived 2013-07-07 at the Wayback Machine. The Mountain Goats Website
  2. ^ a b Baron, Zach. "Heretic Pride review". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2008-02-19.
  3. ^ "Press Kit/One Sheet comic book by Jeffrey Lewis".
  4. ^ "Heretic Pride". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ Blender review Archived 2010-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Crawdaddy! review Archived 2007-08-15 at
  8. ^ The Guardian review
  9. ^ NME review
  10. ^ Paste Magazine review Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  12. ^ Slant review
  13. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  14. ^ Twisted Ear review
  15. ^ "Heretic Pride aggregate score". Metacritic.
  16. ^ Costa, Maddy (February 22, 2008). "Heretic Pride review". London: The Guardian newspaper. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  17. ^ Mojo Magazine, March 2008 edition, p.106
  18. ^ Hughes, David. "Heretic Pride review". Slant Magazine.