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Himsa - Hail Horror (Cover Artwork)

Himsa

Himsa: Hail HorrorHail Horror (2006)
Prosthetic Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Growing up, my parents always drilled two things into my head: You'll always be judged just as much by the company you keep, as by the person you hold yourself to be. Don't swallow the toothpaste. Alright, maybe not so much number two. Number one, however, is something that 20 years into life.
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Growing up, my parents always drilled two things into my head:

  1. You'll always be judged just as much by the company you keep, as by the person you hold yourself to be.
  2. Don't swallow the toothpaste.
Alright, maybe not so much number two. Number one, however, is something that 20 years into life, I've already realized could not be more true. In life, and in music, the same general idea exists, as a band like Himsa has been avoided by myself because of the names of bands I consistently hear them associated with: As I Lay Dying, Bleeding Through, My Heart Is on the Blade of Your October Romance, and I'm sure countless others that infuse the metal stylings of At the Gates with some bland chugga-chugga hardcore.

However, after hearing Hail Horror, and giving this quintet their fair shake after all these years of shunning them, I came away with two immediate thoughts. One being, they're far better than I expected, the second, however, being that it's still boring music. They've got the mechanics down pat enough to be a formidable band on the metal scene, but the combination of long-winded song structures and the lack of any true diversity slows their attack a bit. Let their be no confusion, this band is talented, they just need a little bit better of a grip on how to retain a listener's attention. Singer Johnny Pettibone sounds like too many other metalcore vocalists, getting by on the same raspy delivery over the same double-bass drumming and occasional guitar squalls. Your foot might tap, your head might bob, but inevitably, the band finds themselves in that very same rut occupied by a myriad of others.

The one really bright spot through it all is the performance of axeman Kirby Johnson. A lot of the riffing, as exemplified in the start of "Pestilence," is pretty invigorating. The rich and lighting fast tones start the song off firmly on the correct foot, but it's really not long before the same tired rhythm section comes in and dulls the edges off what started rather sharply. The chord progressions that opened the track can be heard weaving in and out of the songs structure at various other instances, but it's not enough to pull the picture firmly into focus. Songs like "They Speak in Swarms" are just too damn derivative, and too damn close even to other songs on the very same record.

Certainly not as much of a chore to listen to as most of their kin, Himsa provide, mostly by way of Thompson's riffs, some interesting moments on this record. Those moments are unfortunately too sporadic, and just too few however, at least for my tastes. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would stamp this with a seal of approval. You could do much worse.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
coldwaffles (July 31, 2006)

Sure there is, from a metal fans prospective. It's watered down metal.

Anonymous (July 3, 2006)

this sucks and there is no difference between metal and metalcore, they just try to open a new segment on the market...everyone who loves hardcore and punk will hate metalcore and vice versa

Angel_Dust (June 30, 2006)

Not as good as "Courting Tragedy...". Lacks nearly all the energy and shred that made that record so great, but it's still pretty solid and better than most other metalcore. Check out "Anathema" and "Sleezevil" just because they sound evil as hell, and "Wither" and "Wolfchild" because they are the best on here (even though the latter sounds remarkably like God Forbid's "Antihero").

Defeated (June 30, 2006)

rkl And Anchors; Not Trying To Play A Peace Maker Here, But Can We Just Agree Labels Are Dumb And Move On. Let's Agree This Is Mediocre And Then Listen To Something Better In .... Whatever Genre This Is?

Defeated (June 29, 2006)

DECENT!!!!

rkl (June 29, 2006)

so at the gates and slayer are the same exact music, but converge and * you throw up are completely different?

since youre the expert here, tell me, sir. what exactly is metalcore? what seperates it from metal? dont name me bands. tell me, musically.

ive been [convolutedly, in your words] asking this question for 3 years. you, amongst others, have yet to give me an answer. is it because you dont have a grasp of the english language, the banner of which you hold so high?

ThisIsDayOne (June 29, 2006)

double boo.

Anonymous (June 29, 2006)

undertow was shitty
himsa is shitty

Anchors (June 29, 2006)

If you cannot tell the difference between bands like Converge and Deadguy with bands like Slayer and At The Gates, anything I say is going to be completely lost on you.

Also;

"the difference b/t me & you will?"

What? Are you addressing me, or Will? Learn how to use the English language coherently and then get back to me buddy. The fact of the matter is this, I don't care how old you are, I don't care what feathers you think you ruffled, but you're clearly talking out of your ass in not only this, but most threads in which you offer your convoluted opinion.

Save the crap.

SilentStorms (June 28, 2006)

Why can't a hardcore band play metal? Or vice-versa? Oh wait they can! It's a genre, deal with it. Great review!

rkl (June 28, 2006)

exc, converge, deadguy(bands i listen to quite a bit) are metal bands. the difference b/t me & you will? about 10 years of age
kind of funny seeing you call someone a "classic know-it-all," anchors.

pot, kettle, black.

nice to see ive ruffled your wuss feathers, though. youre going to make a killer journalist.

Anchors (June 28, 2006)

I'll tell you why you're an idiot.

You come in all these reviews and news threads in essentially the same way will does. Classic knowitall. Will actually does have quite a bit of musical knowledge to back up all the shit he talks, though, most of it is still just that.

You, however, opt to make baseless comments like the one in this thread, about metalcore not being an actual genre. Newsflash buddy, metalcore has existed for almost 20 years. Ever hear of a little band called Integrity? Converge? Maybe Earth Crisis? Those three bands define metalcore, with the former two essentially the bands who started it, in like '89 or '90.

Then there was the whole slew of mid 90's metalcore -- Groundwork, Threadbare, Harvest, Unbroken, Deadguy, and so on and so on.

Just because every flavor of the week band nowaday's decides they want to throw some metal riffs and double bass drumming into their hardcore songs and call it a record, doesn't invalidate all the great things the genre has done already.

Anonymous (June 28, 2006)

It's about time this gets a review, it came out in March!

It took me a while to get into it, but I really like this album. Not as fast and thrashy as "Courting Tragedy and Disaster", but overall a better album.

If you like metal at all, you will like this album.

Anonymous (June 28, 2006)

boring, just another metal band, why do metal bands try to be hardcore?? Stay metal and keep the fuck away from hardcore

John Pettibone was in Undertow man. Undertow. Undertow. The most hardcore band ever. Undertow. Jesus. Undertow.

Infrarecon (June 28, 2006)

I thought these guy's first album was pretty good, its pretty different from the ones that followed.

Anonymous (June 28, 2006)

kill a metalcore fan and be happy

rkl (June 28, 2006)

why, exactly, am i an absolute moron?

bandying insults around without any facts to back them up is pretty childish.

Anchors (June 28, 2006)

Posted by rkl on 2006-06-27 23:15:36
next time you hear someone call a band metalcore, punch them in the stomach and tell them that the time to stop believing in fairytales is 8.


You are an absolute moron.

rkl (June 27, 2006)

Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 4:19 AM (EDT)

boring, just another metal band, why do metal bands try to be hardcore?? Stay metal and keep the fuck away from hardcore


well you see, its not cool for the kids to like metal. so they have to call it metalcore or "em-metal"(i heard this term yesterday, no shit). bands like this are metal though.

next time you hear someone call a band metalcore, punch them in the stomach and tell them that the time to stop believing in fairytales is 8.

threechordsandthetruth (June 27, 2006)

I saw these guys support Death By Stereo, here's my conclusions:

1. They have the best guitars in rock (lookswise)
2. One of the guitarists looks straight outta Myspace and has the most hilariously shitty stage moves, he kinda hops on one foot while playing, it's like a crippled Sum 41.

Anonymous (June 27, 2006)

I've never even attempted to check out this band because of the bands they've been lumped with.

"the combination of long-winded song structures and the lack of any true diversity slows their attack a bit."

I agree with that so much. A LOT of metal/metalcore doesn't do it for me for that reason alone.

inagreendase (June 27, 2006)

Do you ever give a good review? Just wondering..

Dude, depending on the size of your browser, there's a link roughly a centimeter under the score to view his other reviews. When you click that, you're immediately taken to a listing of the other reviews he's written. The first ones you're presented with contain a rather noticeable number of positive scores.

sceneupdates (June 27, 2006)

Do you ever give a good review? Just wondering..

Anonymous (June 27, 2006)

these guys can be fun to watch live. last time they were here the singer looked like he was about 3 seconds away for beating the rest of the guys up for being so wasted they could barely stand. hate to say it but thats what he gets for being the only sxe guy around a bunch of drunks

danperrone (June 27, 2006)

byzantine is a really good band on prosthetic

they have a pretty sweet original take on metal

Anonymous (June 27, 2006)

boring, just another metal band, why do metal bands try to be hardcore?? Stay metal and keep the fuck away from hardcore

Anonymous (June 27, 2006)

aye lagwagon

Anonymous (June 27, 2006)

Eh, I like this album. I agree with much of the review, but to label this band as "another metalcore" band would be a fallacy. These guys have been at it awhile, and you've got to love the intensity. Sure, there isn't much diversity sometimes, and Pettibone's voice can get old, but if you're in that kind of mood, this album can easily fit the void. And they're fun live.

Ozzie_Guillen (June 27, 2006)

Prefiero "Hersa," no me gust los cocks como Jay Mariotti.

crazytoledo (June 27, 2006)

I absolutely agree with you here. Some of that guitar work is really, really good. But it's still pretty boring.

My review ptrtty much said the same thing:

http://absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=121649

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