Reviews : Albums : Himsa, "Hail Horror"

Himsa, "Hail Horror"

Has anyone else noticed more and more former “metalcore” acts jumping ship and streamlining their sound in favor of the “American Metal” sound? As if toning down their breakdown-heavy attack for a more thrash-based approach to ripping off the same Gothenburg sound really makes that much of a difference. I guess it is cool that these bands are trying to head in a more “metal” direction, but the same problems are already arising; dozens of bands going for the same sound, lack of creativity, etc.

Well, Himsa are another band trying to distance themselves from the word “metalcore” rather than actually distancing themselves from the sound. Indeed, the band has greatly streamlined their chunky hardcore breakdowns and opted for more of a thrash sound. The band cites guitarist Kirby Johnson’s increased role in writing as a source for the slightly more Bay-Area styled Hail Horror, as apposed to their previous efforts’ blatantly Gothenburg feel, where guitarist Sammi Curr handled most of the writing.

I, for one, am not buying it. For several years, everyone was trying to sound like Unearth, but now that Lamb of God are the big dogs on the American scene, everyone is headed in that direction now.

Whatever. Himsa is a competent melodic metal band; nothing more, nothing less. They still borrow heavily from the Euro sound, but this time around have tried to add more Bay-Area sound, but the difference is barely noticeable. Johnny Pettibone’s vocals are still the mid-range snarl that metalcore is infamous for. This sounds like their 2003 effort, Courting Tragedy and Disaster with less breakdowns.

“Metalcore” has become a bad word and even the metalcore kids are starting to realize it now. At least these dudes are trying to go more metal rather than incorporating a bunch of commercialized hard rock crap or whiny emo vocals.