Sunday, September 17, 2017

Howling Giant - Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2

Record Label: Self-release

The band's chosen handle, Howling Giant suggests a gargantuan blood-curling beast and their latest EP title, "Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2" and song titles like "The Forest Speaks", "Circle of Druids" and "Earth Wizard", leaves little doubt that these three guys from Nashville, Tennessee are not only music nerds but also sci-fi and fantasy nerds.

From the outset of the EP, Howling Giant let you know they aren't just messing around with sound, the album opener, "Henry Tate" is nearly all instrumental groove as their are haunting spoken parts. Howling Giant let you know through their psychedelic space rock that they're going on a trippy ride and want you to take a seat and strap yourself in alongside them for the journey.
"The Pioneer" begins as a radio-friendly rock tune. The vocals of Tom Polzine are reminiscent of Jon Toogood from Shihad and the first three minute of the song do remind me of that band's recent rockier tracks but Howling Giant take off into more fuzzed out territory than the long-running New Zealand band have dared to.

There's a warning of an onset of ominous doom to come in "Visions", due to some slowed but incredibly heavy Sabbath riffs. While the melodic clean and incredibly accessible vocals are at the forefront of the mix, the music carries a heavy sense of foreboding doom through the heavy fuzzed out riffs until around the five minute mark where the band veer further into space with a more psychedelic stoner sound with wailing guitar. "The Forest Speaks" is an instrumental track with aucoustic guitar, baritone sax and synth. This track will draw the band many comparisons to the progressive sound of Jethro Tull and the space rock of Hawkwind. Comparisons aside, "The Forest Speaks" is a beautiful and relaxing soundscape.

After lulling the listener in, with a tranquil piece, Howling Giant take a medieval twist with "Circle of Druids" and conjure up Black Sabbath era Ozzy vocals with an emphasis on percussion and chants to come together (intentional nod to The Beatles, that you'll get when you listen to the track) and ascend from Avalon. The fuzzed out guitar leads voyage all over the place searching for Excalibur.

Mammoth crushing doom riffs set the tone of "Earth Wizard". This is the type of song that slowly creeps up behind you and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the band lay down breathtakingly heavy riffs.

To merely say that this EP is good would be understating a fact, the six songs on this release are fantastic and all fans of space rock, stoner rock and metal, psychedelic rock should listen to this Howling Giant. The whole album can be streamed and bought for name your price at the band's bandcamp page. You know what to do and if you want greater riff sensation do what the band tell you to on their bandcamp page and play these songs at maximum volume.


Release Date: 25 August 2017

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