Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Horsehunter - Caged In Flesh (Album Review)

Caged In Flesh cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 30th Sept 2014
Label: Self Released
Caged In Flesh - track listing:

1.Stoned To Death 16:27
2.Caged In Flesh 12:00
3.Nightfall 03:03
4.Witchery 10:05


Caged In Flesh was recorded over a two year span with drums recorded in a church, guitars at Crosstown Studios, and bass and vocals done at Fuzzmeister studios. Our album was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The album was recorded over very dark times, and we made sure to try to emphasise that clearly through our songwriting and lyricism throughout the album.

We worked very hard on Caged In Flesh, having recorded two full versions of the album over these two years and scrapped both of them because we did not feel that they were up to the standard we are after; and finally with our limited DIY budget and means, we have completed our debut record and are feeling very happy with the final product.

Since our band started in September of 2012, we have supported High On Fire, Kylesa, Conan, King Parrot, Beastwars, and Windhand, upon also playing a bunch of successful local shows at venues like Cherry Bar and The Tote, all gigs scored mainly through word of mouth and good fortune. We have reached an extraordinary level of support in our two year span as a bunch of teenagers with no prior knowledge of our local scene, and now that our album is coming close to release (September 30th), we are trying to push ourselves to the 'next level' and we're trying to break through to wider audiences.


Dan McDonald - Guitar
Michael Harutyunyan - Guitar + Vocals
Himi Stringer - Bass + Vocals
Nick Cron - Drums


What a journey these guys have been on recording this brilliant album. Horsehunter recorded two previous versions of this record and then scrapped them, as they weren't upto scratch. It took them two years to finally release this heavy as fuck pounding experience. Caged In Flesh. An album that is going to launch Horsehunter in a big way. If you are a fan of Sleep, Neurosis and Shrinebuilder then prepare to worship the new masters of the riff. As this album is going to blow you away. Here is the deal - 4 songs and 41 minutes of finely tuned bone-crunching and head-splitting Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs, that should come with a Government Health warning.

Opening track - Stoned To Death - is an epic 16 minutes plus track that plays out like a mission statement from the band. Their mission is to consume your soul with the powerful and almighty riff. It is a hazy psychedelic violent ride that you cannot ignore as Horsehunter unleash an unstoppable attack of heavy riffs and blistering instrumental work that many bands would love to call their own. It's a brave decision to have your debut album open with a 16 minute track but Horsehunter pull this off with conviction and purpose as this track is simply as good as it gets in the realm of Sludge/Stoner Metal. Horsehunter add a few noises and sound effects along the way that may test some listener’s patience but stick with it, as you will be missing such a great track.

Second track - Caged In Flesh - sees Horsehunter add a darker and bleaker tone compared to the first track. It's a more thrilling experience as the band add a drone based effect to give their sound a more rounded feel. The reverberation and feedback levels can be quite deafening at times, as the volume is LOUD and HUGE at all times. It is a more distorted version of Sludge/Stoner Metal that Horsehunter have perfected here. Horsehunter want you to be apart of this heavy experience. You can feel the pain and disappointment from the band's experience recording this album. They unleash their pain and fury through the power of their music.

It ain't a pretty sight as the vocals take a twisted and sinister turn of their own. You can detect hints of Neurosis popping up here and there though the band still have their own style of brutal post-whatever sludge/stoner riffs with intelligence to match.

Third track - Nightfall - is a slow-paced instrumental track simply told through a cold-hearted guitar solo with hints of ambient noises to provide a short and creepy rest, before the band end the album with the 10-minute epic - Witchery. Witchery is probably the most straightforward" Doom/Stoner metal track that Horsehunter have recorded but even that is saying something as different levels of noises await you. Witchery features a few progressive riffs more akin to early Mastodon and Baroness, which is never a bad thing in my book. This song features some of the albums heavier and spacier riffs as Horsehunter leave you in a dark place where there is no turning back. Caged In Flesh is an absolute must have album from this amazing band.

This album is starting to gain a lot of great press within the Sludge/Stoner metal community and it is not hard to see why. It is a brilliant and breathtaking debut album that's gonna win them a lot of praise in the months to come. My advice - download this now as the band has this available for free download on BandCamp Buy Now deal for a limited time only.

Amazing. End Of.

Caged In Flesh is available to buy now on BandCamp now.

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Written by Steve Howe