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?...
A Girl In Glass
When Midnight Breaks