Friday 26 May 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Longhouse - "II: Vanishing"

By: Andre Almaraz

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/04/2017
Label: Independent

The tone, mix and mood of the album is one of darkness, menace and depression. “II: Vanishing” will terrify your consciousness and haunt your soul into painful contortions

“II: Vanishing” DD track listing:

1). Hunter’s Moon
2). Vanishing
3). Blood and Stone
4). No Name, No Marker
5). The Vigil

The Review:

Longhouse is a three piece doom outfit from Ottawa, Canada. On April 14th of 2017 they released an album of five new songs which is titled “II: Vanishing.” Here is my review of said album….The opening track, “Hunter’s Moon,” creeps in like a thief in the night who is determined to steal your reason for existence. Eerie guitar swells and fades arouse your senses before the whole band joins in to bombard your ears with an extremely grim dirge of epic proportions. The first six minutes of the song are completely instrumental because they need to be in order to put you in the proper state of mind and set you up for the death blow as the vocals finally kick in to terrify your consciousness and haunt your soul into painful contortions for the closing two minutes of the song.

Second track, “Vanishing,” comes in like a rabid lioness on the hunt. Its raw energy and strategic prowess, attack with vengeful aggression right from the opening blast. The heaviness and groove are the driving force that grabs you immediately and does not let up its grip for over six minutes until the very last note is played. This song is the highlight of the album for me, with the opener being a close second. Third track, “Blood and Stone” sounds exactly like its title. It is grimy, slimy, barbaric, and ugly. Some nice guitar soloing elevate the song to the next level which the preceding groove and harmony had already come close to achieving on their own. 

Fourth track, “No Name, No marker,” is another nonstop drive fest. As with the previous track, this one has all the groove and harmony but with a noticeably more melancholic delivery. The end of the song breaks into an intoxicatingly heavy chug riff which eventually fades us off into the netherworld. With the final track of the album, “The Vigil,” the band pulls out its secret weapon; the game changer that are the clean vocals. The sombre beginning breaks into a quintessential classic metal riff in which the clean vocals immediately jump out of the speakers at you completely unexpectedly. Throughout the song we get a great mix of clean and gruff vocals without ever using either one in excess. This is a truly remarkable feat of a perfect combination that very few bands in the history of heavy metal have been able to pull off in my opinion, yet Longhouse seems to be able to execute this very task with minimal effort and I think it was a stroke of genius to wait until the last song of the album in which to do it.

I really enjoyed listening to this album. It feels to be the perfect length and displays a good amount of musicianship, especially with the guitars. The soloing and overlaying of harmonies are exquisite throughout the entire album. The tone of mix and mood of the album are above all dark and brooding, depressing, and bolstered with a straightforward and ever driving rhythm section. I can detect hints of bands like Pallbearer, High On Fire, and even some Type O Negative, all mixed together with an abundance of the vast Canadian outback which I was more than happy to stir well and swallow down, and I am very much looking forward to hearing what this band does next.

“II: Vanishing” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook