Straight out of Nashville, Tennessee is the band known as Howling Giant and the title of their new EP is titled “Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1”. Mixing elements of stoner, doom, psychedelic rock, and metal these guys have brought forth unto the metal masses nothing short of an underground classic that is sure to keep heads banging for years to come. To some, and in some instance even to me, this may not be the perfect release but the material is right at that barrier, ready to break through into horizons unknown. The sounds coming from this CD are very pleasing to the auditory senses and there is no doubt that this is one of those releases that will find a lot of time in your stereo should any of you decide to give it a listen.
The tone and tunage of the guitars is very traditional as far as the chosen genres are concerned and, somewhat, reminds me of a mixture of Black Sabbath, Cathedral, and Pagan Altar. Strange mixture, I know, but this is a band that doesn’t really sound like any other band. While the influences are there, there is a uniqueness to them that it’s hard to pinpoint any one influence at any given time. There are times during this EP that the guitars take on a heavier, almost sinister tone, but not enough to deviate from the path of the material or genres presented.The solos are phenomenal too. Not too long or too short and not used as filler. The band definitely knows how to use solos to benefit the presentation of the material here. I really like what they do with the guitars and how they change things up a bit to keep the material fresh and interesting. It’s the same way with the drums too. They are pretty much kept to the traditional style of playing where the given genres are concerned, but to add to it, the drummer adds a killer double bass attack which just makes everything that much more monstrous. Then it happens. You make it to the song 'Clouds Of Smoke'. This is the best song on the CD and such an awesome way to close out this offering. There is so much passion and emotion in this track. This is one of those songs that sounds so good that it leaves you wondering what it would sound like live. This offering starts on a high note and ends on a high note. This is 100 percent pure musicianship here
The only thing that keeps this from being a perfect release is that I thought the production was a little muddy. I feel things could have been cleaned up just a tad bit here, but even so, it does not ruin the overall enjoyment. I just hope that they take a little more time with the production on their next release.
There are only 4 songs on this release, and every one of them are excellent and this effort was release independently. This is a band who could definitely have a long career, especially if they keep making music like this. They have a good sense of direction and a passion for what they do. It’s almost hard to believe that only 3 people created the awesomeness that you will hear on this CD. If any of the above mentioned bands interest you, or bands like Sons Of Otis, Saint Vitus, and Ufomammut then you should get in contact with this band and get this CD!