Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 2/7/2006
posted on 1/2006 By:
I hate reviewing albums that I’m indifferent to, and Himsa’s Hail Horror, the followup to 2003’s Courting Tragedy And Disaster, falls squarely into that category. Hail Horror isn’t an awful release by any stretch of the imagination – in some ways, I actually think it’s a marked improvement over their Prosthetic debut – but I can’t honestly say that it’s an enjoyable listen. The musicianship is competent, the blend between aggression and melody is almost seamless, and on the whole, it’s a decidedly metal CD, with little trace of the much maligned ‘core influence. Despite all these factors working in its favor, however, Hail Horror still strikes me as regrettably under whelming.
I think what disappoints me the most is the fact that the majority of the tracks are a prolonged exercise in the art of anticlimax. Songs such as “The Destroyer”, “Pestilence”, “Wither”, and standout “Seminal” see the band crafting extremely memorable introductions stretching anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute and a half long. Guitarists Kirby Johnson and Sammi Curr are very adept at writing riffs that manipulate the mood of a song with ease. The brutish opening riffs of “The Destroyer” create a sense of foreboding that lends some credibility to the album’s title, and “Seminal” boasts a lead off gallop that stands with Iron Maiden in terms of melody.
So what’s the problem? After all the work they put into the first minute of the songs, Himsa seems content to let the other four or five fall into mediocrity. The introductions are so good that the main body of the songs pale in comparison. There are certainly still some points of interest – the solo midway through opener “Anathema” is pleasantly eerie and biting, and the vocal hook and bastardized punk-metal drum work of “Sleezeevil” is catchy as hell – but on the whole, the songs pass by in a hybrid blur of Swedish melody and North American thrash that, outside of a few teaser introductions, is sorely lacking in memorable moments.
Courting Tragedy And Disaster was marred by poor production and monotone, howling vocals, but the writing and structuring of the songs themselves was much better. Hail Horror has fixed the production issues (courtesy of Tue Madsen) and added some much needed variety to the vocal delivery, but simply doesn’t have the necessary depth and consistency of song writing to be considered anything more than an average release.
Register to post comments.