Stepping up and slaying all with a fine release for their new label
Consistency is clearly a good thing when it comes to releasing albums, and Seattle Washington (U.S.A.) group Himsa (who are vocalist John Pettibone, guitarists Kirby Charles and Sammi Curr, bassist Derek Harn and drummer Chad Davis) are definitely that. From the early days to their more recent Hail Horror - which was in turn their last for Prosthetic Records (SkeletonWitch, Cannae) - Himsa have maintained a somewhat underrated brand of blackened thrash chock full of guitar harmonies, relentless drumming and pissed off vocals. Now, their latest effort and first for new home Century Media Records (The Haunted, Napalm Death, Strapping Young Lad) continues in that very fine tradition and ventures nary a touch outside of the lines. But of course, that can only be a good thing when it's this solid.
Reinventing The Noose offers a slow beginning that soon unravels into a brutally fast attacking track as it sets the stage for the rest of the album. The vocals are scorching as is the guitar work with harmonics being inserted where they count most, a trait that shines through on the aptly titled and definingly slower Haunter and the excellent Big Timber. But things really pick up with the early The Haunted like Given In To The Talking which is suitably Swedish influenced and comes further into its own thanks to ?'s outstanding work behind the kit which dictates the song's every mood. Also taking on a The Haunted feel is the equally moody Skinwalkers which takes almost a good three minutes before it psychotically launches into the thrashing beast you'd least expect it to be.
The Swedish influence is unmistakable within the first seconds of Curseworship whilst there's minor “core”-isms to the early stages of Hooks As Hands that are soon eradicated as the track settles into a unfaultering, heavy groove. Thrash is back with Ruin Them before Den Of Infamy slowly fades in with the droning strains of dark riffage exuding a feel similar to that of the intro to the title track of Dismember's 1990 debut Like An Ever Flowing Stream. The title Unleash Carnage says it all as it provides a short two minute blast prior to the varied and melodic title track, Summon In Thunder, bringing the album to a close in stellar form.
Everything up to the point of Hail Horror set the stage for Himsa to step things up to the next level, and the label shift is the call for show time. The good thing is that with Summon In Thunger, Himsa have not just taken the stage, but they've stormed in. This is their time to shine and Summon In Thunder is one hell of a performance.
(Century Media Records/Stomp Distribution)