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Longhouse – II: Vanishing Award winner

II: Vanishing
by Jose MaCall at 27 November 2017, 3:30 PM

What appears to be either a desolate valley with a river of blood or two people with very mutated heads and crazy hair about to kiss is what greets anyone with “II: Vanishing” by LONGHOUSE. I have no idea if this is a sequel to anything because their first album isn’t called I: HERE or something. I was excited to tear into this gloomy looking album, especially knowing it was from the great Maple leaf moshers in Canada. As far as track records go, Canada has a steady output of Heavy Metal standard-bearers that keep the global circle pit brutal. Of all the neighbors to the North, Canada is my favorite. I kept an overwhelming sense of anticipation in check as I hit play to intake whatever the Metal Gods had sent my way. It was my turn now to bring a message and preach my findings on this offering.

What we have here is a lumbering behemoth slowly crushing everything underfoot. The first song is a great introduction to the murky voyage one is about to embark on.  It’s an incredibly heavy dense sound that starts out as an almost horror themed track up front. At four minutes in a thick heavy bass line that is impossible to miss from then on out bellows its presence. From here the abrasive wall of sound begins the overthrow.

Vocally the album features harsh shouts to an almost Black Metal sound. Up until the last song where cleans are introduced. It’s an unexpected turn that shouldn’t be too jarring for most Doom fans as singing is heavily ingrained in the genre. There are several great leads found throughout the album. None of them overstay their welcome but they add a great contrast to the booming rhythms. The Bass is plenty filthy and the riffs are killer. “Blood And Stone” is a song with a slightly more melodic tone as opposed to the more ominous feel the rest of the album drowns in.

The rhythms here are incredibly meaty. Precise drumming keeps a series of catchy roaring riffs moving onwards like they were being belted forth from a conveyer belt where overworked peons die to ensure each chord is doused in misery and brutality. The tracks here are crushing tectonic collisions veined with scalding solos that slowly shatter the eardrums.

I couldn’t exactly pick out a specific standout track because everything is most excellent. I enjoyed the transition on the first song from spooky to devastating. I thought the leads were all great and several songs features great riffs with an overall feel of primal intensity. Between the lower tempo, the deep rich low-end focus, and the frantic shouts there’s a grandiose feel to the sound. It’s like a tidal wave about to crash down.

I immediately became a fan of this one. The classic Doom elements are mixed in with bits of DSBM’s malign influence. The ethos adds a certain dread to the whole production and a melancholy feel that sort of mutes the melodic elements. It stifles the upbeat parts of itself; even the clean vocals at the end do nothing to stifle the somber feel of the music. This is an album that’s both harsh and abrasive and still manages to weigh the listener down like an anchored snitch being thrown off the docks. Overall, I would recommend any Doom fan light one up and blare this one by themselves on a cloudy day.

For fans of stuff like (but not exactly like because this one is hard to compare): BLACK TOMB, LORD SWORD, XASTHUR, SVEDHOUS, WEED PRIEST, JUPITERIAN, THOU, EYEHATEGOD, BASTARD LORD, and LEVIATHAN

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Hunter's Moon
2. Vanishing
3. Blood and Stone
4. No Name, No Marker
5. The Vigil 
Marc Casey - Guitar
Josh Cayer – Vocals and bass
Mike Hache -  Drums
Record Label: Deathbound Records


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