Thursday, 16 August 2012

Horseback - Half Blood - Review

Horseback - Half Blood

Half Blood is the fourth full length release from North Carolina's Horseback.  Rich in numerous layers, this is undoubtedly the strongest release to date from Jenks Miller.  The album was recorded at The Chateau, in the band's hometown of Chapel Hill, various instruments make an appearance including piano, bells, keys and signal processors, collectively accumulated in a bewildering wall of sound.

‘Mithras’ kicks off proceedings with a simple yet highly effective bass-line. Miller's style of singing has also taken impressive strides for the better, with a manic ferocious vocal performance that is one of his many talents.  Miller expertly portrays a reckless fury that is seamlessly interwoven to each song without overshadowing the rest of the albums sound.

Half Blood spans several genres with great ease. The stoner style approach of drumming on 'Ahriman' is crisp and refreshing. Also, there is a range of moods that Half Blood emanates.  The dream like crawl of 'Inheritance (The Changeling)' highlights the broadness of the group's overall sound.

‘Hallucigenia I: Hermetic Gifts’ and ‘Spiritual Junk’ are the strongest of the Hallucigenia trilogy, tracks that close the album.  These three songs show Miller in a more reflective and sombre mood, much like the aforementioned ‘Inheritance’ compared to the more post metal fury on the first half of the record.

The artwork by Russian symbolist artist Denis Forkas is incredibly striking and sets the mood perfectly.  His work is perfect for Miller’s take at psychedelic drone.  Believe the hype, this is a true gem of an album.

Half Blood is available now via Relapse Records.

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