Howl are a five piece band from Rhode Island who have transformed the sub-conscious brain waves that our meager minds use to create nightmares into sound-waves... burdened, doom-laden, sludgy sound-waves. This isn't Howl's first rodeo though, they released a respectable full length LP (with some of the best cover art ever) a few years ago entitled Full Of Hell. If you aren't familar with that release, now is the time to check it out. Why? Because the Rhode Island boys will be releasing their sophomore follow up at the end of April, entitled Bloodlines, and this will give you, as a listener, just enough time to become familar with what Howl has done and where they are headed.
Immediately upon pushing play I realize that Bloodlines is a completely new, faster paced, monster that has grown apart from Full Of Hell. Howl certainly have changed their style, everything is more extreme, although not necessarily heavier. You see, to this listener, Full Of Hell had an ancient, medieval, dark ages sort of feel... stones, fire and brimstone style of heavy (which I greatly enjoyed, Full Of Hell was on my Top 2010 list). Bloodlines blasts through those stones from ages ago with the intensity of a mechanized weapon. I guess the guys have departed from the classic doom end of the spectrum and reinforced with doses of thrash, groove and even some blackend metal. Don't let this shy you away from Bloodlines though, Howl stay RIFF-centric. I believe that Howl's dedicated touring schedule with some killer new wave metal bands (Black Tusk, Kylesa, Red Fang and Skeletonwitch) have strongly influenced the Rhode Island quintet aiding in their evolution to Bloodlines. In place of that archaic sound is a clean and clear production. The percussion side has added blast beats to the foregoing ancestral tone and the vocals are more wretched and more angry. So, there you have it a fresh, fast, and scary extreme release from a band that's not afraid to step outside of their box. Check out their lyrical video for Attrition below and if interested Relapse is taking pre-orders here.
Jesse - Bass
Jonathan - Guitar
Josh - Guitar
Timmy - Drums
Vincent - Vocals // Guitar
Tar Halos: Winehand
This weeks second dose, Tar Halos, are a heavily psychedelic, rock band, whom with the power of disconcerting lyrical passages, harken back to the Syd Barrett days of Pink Floyd. The five-piece call San Diego head-quarters and prefer "old drum machines over young drummers". This becomes plainly noticeable through Winehand. The beat of the percussion and overall electronic nature build an oxymoronic vibe of despondent ecstasy. My favorite track is Arrival of the Second Center Moon, be sure to listen below. The track is immediate, as if your conscience is roused to the chaos of a blasting alarm at the moment your space-craft is losing pressure through a tremendous hole in its hull. This is the track I find the greatest correlation to old 'Floyd's cosmic poetry. The alarm continues to alter your thought process throughout the entire song while a steady beat of percussion inflame a bravery within the depths of your soul. The vocals are buried and glazed over giving the track a truly '60s psych vibe and the guitars have a deserted and arid tone creating a confusing sensation. Quite the unique and excellent track... Quite the unique and excellent album. Get a copy from Volar Records or download at bandcamp and be sure to check out Volar's video for Broken Clocks here.