It's always good to see new bands coming up with new sludge metal albums. Especially ones who mix doom into it as well. Unfortunately not everyone can pull it off. Haarp is a band from New Orleans that seems to have struggled heavily in the creative writing process. The band has recently released their new album, entitled "Husks," which has three lengthy tracks on it. Although it sounds solid at first, the album quickly falls to the boring side as you move through each track.
The album starts up with "Deadman/Rabbit" which throws deadly drum fill at you with booming double bass pedal kicks and crashing cymbals. The guitars chug away with dominating riffs that will have you bobbing your head immediately. The vocals step in with what first appears to be like solid deep growls. The tempo slows to a real sludge atmosphere as the drums continue to drop heavy snares and toms. The vocals go on for a few minutes straight as you'll start to realize that they don't really change at all. The verse starts to sound repetitive with the same exact tone of voice in the growls. You'll find yourself getting bored about three minutes in. The track runs for over 17 minutes long so surely things should change. However besides a few short breaks between vocals, the track doesn't really go anywhere. The tempo speeds up a bit while the vocals attempt a more higher approach but they end up sounding worse than the original. About 11 minutes in come the real doom side of the track as the drums slow down and the guitar riffs become muddy. The bass lines are pretty solid as a messy guitar solo comes in over the top. These are really the only highlights to this lengthy track.
The second track, "Bear," is the shortest track of the three running for just a little under nine minutes long. The vocals still have the same old tones and delivery while cymbals explode in the background. Constant distortion keeps you surround with aggression as the vocals continue to try to keep you hooked. Overall the track will put you to sleep. There are no major surprises in the structure of the song other than a few detail drum fills here and there. The last song "Fox" ends up doing the exact same thing as the other two tracks. Just chugging away slowly with the same notes and same distorted effects. At this point you won't even be able to stand the vocals. You would think that the final track would somewhat come to the rescue and save this album from completely horribleness but it really just gets worse and worse.
Haarp hasn't really shown us anything worth hearing in "Husks." The album is boring and way to long for what it is. It would have worked out better if they kept each track under three minutes because at least they would feel like they were dragging as long. Until the they get more creative with their work I would say don't waste your time with this band.
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