haarp - 'Husks' CD Review (Housecore Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, October 12, 2012

haarp - 'Husks' CD Review (Housecore Records)

haarp - 'Husks' CD Review (Housecore Records)
New Orleans sludge metal band haarp released their fourth disc, Husks, last month on Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records. This new three -track/38 minutes disc is the follow-up to the band’s 2010 full-length debut, The Filth, which also came out on Housecore. Phil Anselmo has been a strong supporter – most recently taking the band on the road with Down and Phil joined the band on stage for a song at the show at Best Buy Theater in New York.

(Note: Video is from last year’s show but there really isn’t a lot of difference between the years)

haarp often mistakenly get lumped into the doom genre due to the band’s slow tempos but they have nothing in common with band’s like Sunn 0))). Phil Anselmo said: “To call haarp 'slow' would be somewhat fair, but to say that they're just 'another slow band' would be sacrilege…Their music is crushing, resolute, dramatic and conceptually insane.” haarp’ s music has more in common with hardcore (though this is the first ‘slow’ hardcore band that I’ve heard) as the band works up a ferocious wall of pummeling riffs over which vocalist Sean Emmons growls and grunts out lyrics about despair, hatred, self loathing, and aggression.

The three tracks on this release are all structurally similar – there are the expected crushing guitar riffs but this is complemented by (down-tuned) melodic guitar lines and almost free-form jazz drumming. The disc’s opener, “Deadman/Rabbit”, and closer, “Fox”, clock in well over 10+ minutes which allows the music to meld and change over the course of the tracks. The music is both melancholy and ferocious but there is “light” and melody within the band’s overall sound and the spirit of the album is perfectly reflected in the album’s cover art, which shows a light in the darkness. Shaun Emmons’ vocals complement the music and range between hardcore growls and death metal shrieks.

haarp’s new disc was produced by Phil Anselmo and he balances the band’s filthy anger and intensity with a clarity that brings out the individual components of the band’s uncompromising sound. Husks was recorded at the University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center, Fountainbleau Room 7011, and Nodferatu’s Lair by Phil Anselmo, engineered by Steve Berrigan and Nathan Weidenhaft and mastered at Visceral Sounds by Scott Hull.