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Himsa
Courting Tragedy & Disaster


3.5
great

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Since their forming in 1998, Himsa has been thorught enough line-up changes they could've formed a musical assembly line. Their style has progressed into a form of modern metal with roots in the hardcore scene to form a hybrid that is quite unique I feel. The metal influence is obvious in the guitar riffs, not to mention the ridiculously insane guitar solos. The hardcore side is seen solely through the vocalist, John Pettibone, who could be spotted as the stereotypical hardcore guy with the voice to match. Essentially, he is very out of place in the band, but he grows on you over time. Their second album, Courting Tragedy & Disaster, saw the band go through an entire remodeling. Since the addition of John Pettibone the band went from an odd experimental sound (back to their debut, Ground Breaking Ceremony) to closer to full-on metal. After the Death is Infinite EP, this record is marked as the first official LP release sporting the new sound.

The album fires off with the best song on the album. Dominion, like the other tracks, shows the hardcore/metal blend that the band has taken on. The track begins with the fast dueling metal riffs and keeps significant speed throughout. When John starts screaming the entire song is thrown out of whack. His voice sounds bad at first. Hell, maybe he just sucks all together. But music cannot be denied. Once we get to the solos it becomes shredfest 2004. The back and forth soloing is what keeps me listening. Fast and extremely metal, it helps take your mind off the horribly misplaced vocals. The single Rain to the Sound of Panic proves a heavier followup. The drums give the song a very choppy sound while the guitars maintain the lead riffs the band is so good at. It keeps a cinsistent sound and has the sound of the chaotic guitar solos to match. Not a real bad track but not quite a highlight. Next we have A Girl In Glass, another single as well as one of the most melodic songs from the album. The guitars sound excellent while John's voice keeps the slightly heavier feel. The at about a minute and a half is amazing. Strangely soft but oddly dark; it leads right into the heavy section just before one of the most freakish sounding guitar riffs. Another part just before the solo sounds dare I say, emotional? The only complaint I have is excrutiating lack of soloage.

With Kiss or Kill, we go back to the old heavy and insanely fast sound. It has some sweet sounding filler/lead guitar riffs while the drums back it up smoothly with the double bass among other metalish beats. The rest of the song is slightly similar untill the solo, which is slow and eerie sounding. It's no shredfest and isn't really much to listen to. At least Jacob Shock is next. More speed and brutality, but is not nearly as dark. The track rolls on nicely with some brief instrumental breaks to give it that much needed metal feel. The deceptive stop goes into the sweet guitar riffs and the last five seconds of the song is a tantalizing solo clip. Cherum is the cross between the sheer metal and melodic sounds. The best guitar riffs on the record are right here. Some parts have a crowd screaming in the background which doesn't really do anything at all. I follow right untill the three minute mark where the much-needed guitar work comes back into play. It's no Dominion, but the quick solo will suffice for the time being.

It's Night Like This That Keep Us Alive is a more flowing song than any of the others so far. With periodic headbangable breaks, this song is closer to full-on metal than the predecessors. At somewhaere over two minutes the whole song stops and gives way to a weird recording of a guy saying something I didn't pay attention to. It leads directly into Loveless and Goodbye. If it weren't for the soft guitar driven double bass breaks, this wouldn't be a very creative song. Finally, another guitar solo. It's nothing too special, but it definitely has it's moments. The semi-mellow guitar work I find relaxing. On to Scars in the Landscape, another flowing, heavy, dark track. The blast beats and traditional guitars make it brutally fast, and when it slows down to the pounding riffs and drums it does indeed become another dark track. Another slows freakish solo ounds off the mix. This is actually a pretty depressing song as a whole, and the tapping parts only help their cause.

Sense of Passing is a good heavy and lead driven track that lifts my spirits. If it weren't for the vocals, it would sound a lot like a Shadows Fall song. There are the courtesy breaks with only drums and vocals and when the full ,usic comes back in it sounds rather..urgent maybe? Cen't think of the word. Just before the solo it sounds like John's voice box is about to explode. Not a bad solo, though. The song fades out with John giving an occasional burst of screamign over it. The record wraps up with When Midnight Breaks. It begins with some interesting drumming. It sounds almost thrashy with the drums. The song stays pretty consistent for another minute or two, and ends with another great shredfest. Killer solos you bastards, I had to wait ten songs for more guitar work this good. Once again, not as good as track one, but it'll do donkey. Especially with the other solo after it. :thumb: Good song.

I'm not going to lie to you. This band takes some getting used to. The vocals can be an instant turnoff but I'm urging you to just give it a little time. It grew on me and I'm hoping a few MXers out there can appreciate this. The songs start sounding slightly repetitve and recycled at the end but each song has something to it that sounds unique. I don't think I've ever heard anything about this band over MX so maybe I'm the only one?...

Recommended tracks:
Dominion
A Girl In Glass
Cherum
When Midnight Breaks



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user ratings (97)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
40 oz 2 freedom
November 12th 2004


96 Comments


Nice review. I like this cd.

SubtleDagger
November 12th 2004


737 Comments


By the numbers metalcore. I'm not too big on Himsa, but they're pretty good.

BuddyBigsby
November 12th 2004


531 Comments


Decent CD. Great review. I like your observations on how they incorporate metal and hardcore, and how you made references to their older work. Good stuff.

I would've recommended "Kiss or Kill" though, I mean come on...

SO FU[font=verdana]C[/font]KING HOPELESS

Shadows
Moderator
November 12th 2004


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks. Kiss or Kill was definitely up there as one of the best songs along with maybe Jacob Shock. After being torn down in my Shadows Fall reviews it's nice to know BuddyBigsby is slightly on my side in something.



I really wouldn't consider these guys metalcore though...

mabba
November 12th 2004


7 Comments


Nice guys too.

Shadows
Moderator
November 12th 2004


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Are they? The closest I've gotton was at a live show when I was yelling at them saying I was thirsty and John gave me two water bottles. They're in my room right now. Good stuff.

canadapantsman
July 18th 2005


236 Comments


as has been said, id recommend kiss or kill.. its meh fave track and the only one from the band ive really liked asides a girl in glass

circleofdeadchildren
August 25th 2005


119 Comments


Nice Review,dominion is my favorite track on the album


Shadows
Moderator
August 26th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool to see this old review back. I think I actually underrated these guys. Most songs on the album are good and their live shows are fucking crazy.



New stuff is due out soon. I can't wait.

Prophecy
December 20th 2005


52 Comments


This band is good.

Confessed2005
January 22nd 2006


5263 Comments


I have heard 'Wither' off their new album. Very good review. Might check out some of their stuff. 'Prostethic Records' do tend to sign some sick acts - I like the majority of their roster.

Shadows
Moderator
January 22nd 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I completely forgot about these guys. I found the new album leaked, and I'm getting it now. I can't wait. The tracklist sounded badass. Hopefully they improve on what they did here, which was pretty good.

espbassist
April 14th 2006


66 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love It. No more said.

Rabio
January 7th 2009


49 Comments


So far only songs I've heard from these guys are Sleazevil and Girl In Glass. I like those but like he said, the vocals don't exactly match the music. Meh.. I got money right now. Might just get it for GIG. :lol:

Phantom
January 7th 2009


9010 Comments


Get Summon In Thunder instead.

BallsToTheWall
January 7th 2009


50526 Comments


123. If anything, just watch Unleash Carnage.

Digging: Mild High Club - Going Going Gone

Phantom
January 7th 2009


9010 Comments


^That and Big Timber are both awesome videos. I like how Pettibone refused to wear white for Unleash Carnage.This Message Edited On 01.07.09

BallsToTheWall
January 7th 2009


50526 Comments


Garth Vader is kvlt.

Phantom
January 7th 2009


9010 Comments


D:This Message Edited On 01.07.09

Curse.
January 7th 2009


8079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Summon in Thunder is miles ahead of this album. Pettibone is a monster



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