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Humungus - Balls Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 January 2020, 7:45 AM

One of the best features in the 80’s was to see a recording label released. In those days, if the band didn’t have an established name, but came from a known label, it was easy to be heard. Of course that major label got a best part (unless you weren’t a Glam Metal fan), but independent bands suffered a lot. On USA Metal School, many names released album in no condition to compete with major labels, and just a few resisted. Today, as the recording companies’ power weakened a lot due the illegal downloads, many excellent independent releases can be found (unless you’re a Metalhead that sucks propaganda), and the North American quintet HUMUNGUS comes to blast your ears with their second album, the massive attack called “Balls”.

Their music is an excellent mix between Old School Thrash Metal from the 80’s (with many influences from underground scene) with some Power Metal influences (Power Metal in the USA sense before 1985, as can be heard on bands as OMEN, RUTHLESS, ABBATOIR and AGENT STEEL on those days), but with a modern outfit and a great technical work (where different musical influences arises). And their melodies are really great, creating excellent passages and hooking choruses. So be prepared for fun, energy and aggression, because they’re up to them!

The sound quality could be a bit better. If it’s not trying to emulate the 80’s sonorities, it’s a bit rawer than the needed. Everything can be understood, the aggressive impact of the songs is OK, but it sounds a bit hollow sometimes. It’s not bad but could be better with a modern touch (without breaking apart their organic feeling). 11 mass killing songs are presented by the band, and the listener will ask why in the blazes a recording label didn’t get these guys until now. The amazing aggressive energy of “Iron Shod Hoof of Battle” (excellent Jazz touches on bass guitar and good heavy drumming), the thrashing rage of “Night Bullet”, the intense slashing weight of “Sewer Wolf” (great guitar riffs and solos) and of “Raptors in the Pit” (the double bass drumming is excellent), the ‘motorheadian’ Rock ‘n’ Roll feeling that permeates “Skull Dirt” (the charming melodies are really excellent, and the vocals are doing a very good work), the excellent proto-Thrash Metal elements heard on “Crucial Vortex” and “Dead Horse” are the best songs of the album for a first time on their work. On the second, you’ll be hooked!

“Balls” is that kind of album that is hard to not like!

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Iron Shod Hoof of Battle
2. Night Bullet
3. Shadow Creeper
4. Sewer Wolf
5. Raptors in the Pit
6. Beam of Light
7. Skull Dirt
8. Lightning City
9. Crucial Vortex
10. Steel Crusher
11. Dead Horse
Jack Bauer - Vocals
Peyton Gregory - Guitars
Joseph Granger - Guitars
Wayne Pompey - Bass
Robby Scarce - Drums
Record Label: Killer Metal Records


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