Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Serial Hawk : "Searching For Light"

With the heavy legacy of grunge haunting their homestead, this Seattle takes an approach more akin to the Melvins and Tad than any of their flannel clad forefathers. The vocals are forced out in a throaty shout, with the guitars being the focus of more melody. The bass and drums work together as a punishing unit with machine like precision. They are oppressive like sludge rather than invoking the morbid sense of loss of doom. The pace lumbers with the liberate stomp of a juggernaut. They are heavy, but not weighed down with the typical trappings of metal. The chords are driven home rather than chugged. The vocals drop down into a hushed baritone that is almost at a whisper for "Lying in Wait" before locking in with the guitar for a Helmet like bark.While their sound has a similar blood line to many of the more forward thinking bands in the later half of the 90s who were thinking man's metal like Helmet, Neurosis, Unsane and Fudge Tunnel, they very much have their own thing going on that fits in with the current musical climate.

"Of Decay" starts off as a more pounding bull-dozer of post-hardcore angst hammered at you for the first couple of minutes before they relax and let the song breathe. The vocals bellow out a little while longer before the aggression yields to the shift in guitar tone. It is moments like these where the band shines, I noticed this on the first song when they uses cleaner and more effected guitar tones that still held and organic warmth to the atmosphere. The album closes with a sprawling 17 minute title track. I have kind of had it with the whole over ten minute thing, so these guys are going to have to bring their a- game to win me over. Hesitant clean guitar tones ebb through the first three minutes before the drums come in. The vocals come in first at a low whisper before building into the more shouted delivery. He allows his voice to crack into a coarse tone , but I would not call it growling or screaming. They coast on a throbbing groove with the vocals offering somewhat of a call and response as the guitar melody builds off slow picked distorted solo. Its almost nine minutes in until I click over to see how far along we are into this. So they distracted me for more than half way through this winding epic. The guitar is still pretty interesting at this point as every thing breaks down for this clean toned almost jazz like guitar interlude. There is a slight jammy quality here and I bet these guys can have some fun with these kind of moments on stage. The song is barely held together by the bass and then they bust back in with syncopated punches.

 I'll round this one up to a 9, the longer song did manage to hold my attention, the drill Sargent cadence to the vocals is not always my favorite approach , but over all I think these guys captured what they do best in the studio and look forward to hearing where they go from here. These guys are just as good as anything else along these lines I have heard from bands backed by records labels so someone is really losing out on a ton of potential until these guys are picked up, I guess for what ever a record label is worth these days if anything.

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