Saturday, 13 August 2016

REVIEW: Howling Giant - “Black Hole Space Wizard”: Part 1” (EP)

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 13/08/2016
Label: Independent



Howling Giant come across as a confident band that are bursting at the seams with invigorating hooks that sound as familiar as they are new. They have the discipline to take their time fleshing out riffs without losing sight of the song, their energy and passion is felt throughout, which is the glue that holds this EP together.

“Black Hole Space Wizard”: Part 1”CD//DD track listing:

1). Mothership
2). Exodus Earth
3). Dirtmouth
4). Clouds of Smoke

The Review:

As much of a fan of country music that I am, it’s refreshing to hear a product coming out of Nashville that doesn’t tote the Dave Cobb stamp of approval. Bring in Howling Giant, a progressive metal band that upped their Bostonian roots and moved out to the weird cosmos of the American South that is Nashville. No twangy guitars here and don’t even begin to think that Howling Giant are “whisky soaked” or “bluesy.” Howling Giant has a sound that is as clear and crisp as it is raw and spacey. They dive deep into the well of progressive rock as well as take off for joy rides into space. They mix these trips with a healthy dose of youthful humor and beer drinking, coming out on the other end sounding like the bastard child of Elder and Red Fang.

This cleverly titled EP, “Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1,” is the start of a four part series and judging by these songs, this EP is also the start of a new force in the realm of good time heavy rock. The opening notes of “Mothership” echo through a dark alley in the dead of night. Once the rest of the band fades in – organ and all – it’s abundantly clear that Howling Giant are going to leave big footprints. Be it in the hypnotic nod of “Exodus-Earth” or the growing groove of the seven plus minute closer, Howling Giant come across as a confident band that are bursting at the seams with invigorating hooks that sound as familiar as they are new.

Special attention should be given to the EP’s single, “Dirtmouth,” that we premiered the video of here a few weeks ago. Tom Polzine’s intense shredding on the six string lies adjacent to Roger Marks’s buzzing bass, only to be pushed into their respective corners by Zach Wheeler’s commanding roll. The song is vocally diverse, too, which brings to mind punk stalwarts Rise Against. The fact that this song is a true band effort is what makes it stand out.

Howling Giant has the discipline to take their time fleshing out riffs without losing sight of the song, their energy and passion is felt throughout, which is the glue that holds this EP together. Assuming Howling Giant is able to continue down this path on their own terms, the band will have no problem adding a few respectable releases to their discography.

“Black Hole Space Wizard”: Part 1” is available here

Band info: facebook|| bandcamp

RIYL: Elder, Red Fang, Melvins, Rush

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