Sunday, November 17, 2019

November Doom -Howling Giant : 'The Space Between Worlds"

Here we get a clearer picture of what separates Stoner rock from doom, though this band is capable of pulling out some impressive doom riffs right along side of their more bong drenched moments of hyper tension.The vocals make me think of Foo-fighters , but comparisons could be just as easily drawn to Atomic Bitchwax, since the last Atomic Bitch Wax album sounded like if the Foo- Fighters were smoking meth.  I prefer "Nomad" even more as it is heavier and slower, thus also making it moodier and a little darker. The vocals to "Ghosts in the Well" take a more solemn turns to fit the spacey synths and acoustic guitar offering a more Pink Floyd like tone. The rumbling crunch to "the River Guide" fully commits to the more doomy sound.

The heavier turn continues on "Ice Castle' which despite the more Deep Purple like keyboards underneath the driving chug of guitar proves a powerful combo and more in line with traditional metal. The drumming also catches my ear on this song.  The pace picks up with "Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express' which makes me think of Stephen King's 'Gunslinger " .  There is a concept behind the lyrics that is not as evident as say 'Operation Mindcrime" in it's storytelling, but done more like Rush. This more straightforward style of rock is not their strongest side, though it's not that bad either , I think I like the more layered approach of the other songs, the dynamics do not shift here until the guitar solo. "Everlight" kind of runs into the song that follows it so I had to go back and give it another listen in order to make the distinction. It's the slow build that leads into the heaviness that will later erupt. It's a little darker , the sung vocals remind me a little of Opeth.

There is a more Pallbearer like feel to "the Orb".This song might be one of the album's more metal moments. They lock into some pretty crushing chugs. I think they are doing this better than a band like Spirit Adrift or Khemmis. "Stone Giant" reminds me a little more of Mastodon. The double bass is pretty punishing. They do lock into some pretty cool grooves along the way. I will round this one up to a 9.5, it turned out to be a great deal heavier than expected going into this and the prog elements do not diminish the power. This was released on Blues Funeral Recordings.


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