donderdag 10 oktober 2019

Howling Giant – The Space Between Worlds

Howling Giant – The Space Between Worlds
Blues Funeral Recordings – 2019
Stoner Rock, Progressive, Psych
Rated: ****

A true sci-fi epic, Howling Giant’s 'first' LP The Space Between Worlds is a concept album that sees its three intrepid heroes soaring through the cosmos, crossing dimensions, and meeting face-shredding doomsday machines while masterfully wielding their weapons of choice. I first encountered the Nashville, Tennessee trio at a local bare-bones brewery show, and was immediately blown away by their ambitious stoned prog sound as they flew through epic, complex pieces while still managing to be a fun and energetic live act. After a series of excellent EPs, the boys have graced us with a proper full-length, and it more than meets expectations. Howling Giant bring their signature progressive, soaring-yet-crunchy sound to bear, balancing epic and at times serene guitarwork with crunching stoner riffs, thundering low end, and the always impressive lightning fast drum work. A strong point for the band, the catchy shared vocals shine through as well and add a layer of melancholy alongside the imaginative storytelling. From the swirling keys and madman drumming of opener “Comet Rider”, the trio grab your attention and refuse to let go or be pigeon holed. Tracks shift from the piercing, winding riffs of “Nomad”, to the pastoral acoustic strumming on “Ghosts in The Well”, and the metallic, driving thunder of the finale of “Ice Castle”. Standout track “Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express” is a true epic that blends earworm, at times punky vocals with a head-nodding groove and epic sci-fi solo. As they so aptly put from their computer-plugged brains on the Doomsday Express, “it’s better to explore than fade away”, and Howling Giant live that credo, pushing the progressive boundaries of stoner rock and having a damn good time doing it.

(Written by Kyle)

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