The last of our reviews of CDs that bands thrust into our dirty, sweaty hands at this year’s Bloodstock comes from Wolverhampton noise merchants Husk, who played the New Blood stage. Plague of Man was released in 2014, but it’s the first time I’d heard it and the band still have copies to sell!
The band described themselves in our pre-Bloodstock interview as “Death-Groove” which isn’t a bad take on what we have here. They’re certainly heavy with the harsh, growled vocal style you’d expect from a death band. However, they do have some nice slow breaks which aren’t like those of most melodic death bands. They’re… well, they’re groovier.
“Absolution” has the two genres in perfect balance – head-pounding one moment, funky the next. “Confessional” blurs the edges a little more, and adds a bit of a traditional metal to the mix also.
Husk manage to sound like a mixture of old and new. As soon as you think you’ve got a grip on their sound, they chuck in something like “Black Mirror” to catch you off balance. With its staccato rhythms and clean opening vocals, it’s (initially) a world apart from the rest of the EP. Even when it gets going, it’s a bit more bass-led with slightly off-kilter guitars carrying the melody.
“Unearthing the Rapture”, though, is the best song on here. With a great mixture of sounds, the drumbeat and rhythm as the track ends is brilliant. Mind, the title track has a hell of a main riff…
I had no idea what to expect when I popped the CD into the player, but I’m impressed. Well recorded and mixed, a decent and original sound which isn’t stuck in a rut. A band not scared ot take a few risks as well, dipping their toes into several metal pools.