Serious Beak
Huxwhukw


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (196 Reviews)
March 13th, 2013 | 22 replies | 1,559 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Running rampart in design.

Serious Beak’s Huxwhukw is not your conventional metal record. Completely instrumental, stretching and combining genres from sun up to sun down, this act signed to Australian metal label Art As Catharsis utilise the limits of their musical prowess to not only create an album that’s interesting, varied and a little bit quirky. Hailing from Sydney, Australia there is something about this instrumental act that draws listeners, once caught chances are they’ll keep coming back for more. For what Huxwhukw is, it’s disjointed, chaotic yet sublimely organised into polyrhythmic riffing, syncopated jazz beats combined with well-presented melancholic cleans, ominous atmospheric traits and devastatingly beautiful guitar riffage. In other words, this is chaos done well, ensuring the constant attention of the listener. Almost undefinable within the metal genre, these quirky guys from Sydney usually get lumped in the progressive metal category, at least you can see why. Passages are frantic, undefined, fast, slow, aggressive and sedate. Time signatures change as much as the riffs that are found within the record, but it doesn’t sound at all out of place. In fact it’s the tasteful noodling and minimalistic acoustic passages that really bring Huxwhukw together in one stream of thought.

At its core the album is highly technical, but it doesn’t wank around either (well, too much). Serious Beak knows when to change it up, add or remove layers without becoming overbearing or muddled. Take ‘Fljóta’ for example, this track shows off the stark contrast between the usual heavy sections found on Huxwhukw. The track blends soft with the album’s only source of voice. Soft melodic chants slowly ebb into the track thickening this track building into an excellent use of crescendo work, before building perfectly into the final track of the album. This goes to show that whilst every track is different they still manage to cohesively work with the next. The opening track is also a prime example of how the band can switch things up when moving to the adjacent track. ‘Baxwbakwalanuksiwé’ (go on, try to pronounce it) starts with some transcendently ethereal cleans before shifting full force into ‘Han’ which is as much of a genre mash up as the whole record. As an instrumental record, it’s a wonder that the band doesn’t lose direction and in turn the attention of the listener. Serious Beak never falters with their organised chaos, ensuring that those listening will stay.

Overall, Serious Beak’s Huxwhukw is a must hear instrumental progressive metal album (although their sound is of a much wider variety). Understandably, the album is not the easiest to get into, but once there it seems to make perfect sense and after a while the album’s accessibility levels matter know more. Backed by a solid production sits between crystal clear and murky, Huxwhukw brings a wide scope of influences to the table and is far from being a one trick pony. From beautifully presented tubular clean passages to dissonant guitar riffs this is an album that bridges the gap between worlds in a weird way. Serious Beak’s 2011 effort is not a record to be scoffed at, nor should it be ignored. Its overall quirkiness allows for Huxwhukw to rise above its instrumental competition.



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Much needed review, I'm currently on a home grown addiction at the moments. Available free from bandcamp.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013



3409 Comments


Piqued my interest, downloading now and if it's good enough I'll buy the digipak or something.

Eclecticist
March 12th 2013



3863 Comments


holy shit look at that vicious beak

foxblood
March 12th 2013



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome, finally has a review

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check out the label page too, it's got a few Australian extreme metal doom/sludge/psychadelic etc albums.

Funeralopolis
March 12th 2013



11154 Comments


this sounds pretty dope

Digging: Banks - London

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It definitely needs more rates : ]

Scrambled
March 12th 2013



391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yay this got a review. Love this album.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I couldn't believe that it didn't already have one, fixed now.

Tonger
March 12th 2013



50 Comments


Unbelievable record.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep, mind-blowing instrumental work.

lachlanrdale
March 13th 2013



2 Comments


Thanks again for the review mate, glad you dug it.

We've been writing slowly but surely writing new material for the last 20 months (or something ridiculous). We'll hopefully record an EP sometime this year.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't tell you how much I look forward to it : ]

Ignimbrite
March 13th 2013



5310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This looks fucking sweet. Will check. Great review, too.

Ignimbrite
March 13th 2013



5310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In other news, have you jammed the new Rorcal album yet?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All the links, sites to purchase so far have been bogey, must be my luck. Anyway check this and the Adrift for Days record. That Lachlan guy who posted performs in both bands, plus a couple of others.

Ignimbrite
March 13th 2013



5310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Adrift for Days rules.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You listened to this yet?

Ignimbrite
March 13th 2013



5310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just downloaded it. I'll probably get around to jamming it this afternoon.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2013



6987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to it man, well worth it : ]



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