Huntsmen - American Scrap review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
8.2

17 users:
7.76
Band: Huntsmen
Album: American Scrap
Release date: February 2018


01. Bury Me Deep
02. Pyre
03. Canary King
04. Interlude A - Shipwrecked
05. Atlantic City
06. Interlude B - Insurrection
07. The Barrens
08. The Last President


There's a darkness at the edge of town, coming from the eye of every storm. It's sludge in the USA.

Hailing straight from Chicago, Huntsmen found some strange new sounds to blend into their sludge sound, taking inspiration from their country's monolithic culture, specifically from that blue-collar roots rock style. Thus traces of Springsteen are to be found all around American Scrap, from the performance to the storytelling.

Taking their time, American Scrap's opener sets the Americana tone that lingers on through the second track. Only halfway "Pyre" do Huntsmen overwhelm the sound with thick guitar feedback that still doesn't immediately give back into sludge. All throughout the record, the sludge takes turns from the more intricate and atmospheric to the in-your-face, hard-hitting type, all in all being more reminiscent of Neurosis than some more meat-and-potatoes sludge. While not quite always blending seamlessly, the potential is definitely there for Huntsmen to polish their songwriting even more.

The storytelling is also taking Springsteen influences and making them bleaker, just like the sound. While I didn't dive into every track, the ones that stand out most are "Canary King" and "The Last President", one being about a coal miner's life and the other about a president's last public address during a nuclear holocaust, so yeah, pretty grim stuff. All of these (well, except the last track) are so hard-hitting because of Chris Kang's vocals, hitting both the warm cleans and the vicious roars.

The production is a little rough at places, but that is something not too unexpected for a band's debut full-length. The album isn't overly long, 40 minutes with 5 proper, well-structured songs and some mood-setters. Overall, a really fresh take on sludge, post-, and metal in general. A little rough around the edges, but promising potential to improve on future releases.

Take a trip with the young, the innocent and the enemy of the sun through silver in blood. Ok, enough Springsteen/Neurosis puns.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 6


 



Written on 15.03.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 64 users
16.03.2018 - 18:35
musclassia
Been riding a big Neurosis listening wave for the past couple of years, so this sounds up my street
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16.03.2018 - 19:41
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 16.03.2018 at 18:35

Been riding a big Neurosis listening wave for the past couple of years, so this sounds up my street

You're probably gonna enjoy it, both sides of it.

Also hop back on the review train
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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17.03.2018 - 18:12
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 16.03.2018 at 19:41


You're probably gonna enjoy it, both sides of it.

Also hop back on the review train


Yeah, I'm digging it, it's an interesting combo and from Atlantic City onwards it definitely picks up, hopefully with time they can keep improving. Not completely sold on the vocals; I wonder how I would've felt about it if they had a gruff Scott Kelly-type on the clean sung vocals, but I'll probably end up giving it a couple more listens.

Yeah, I'm pretty busy with degree stuff at the moment but should hopefully calm down by the end of April at the latest, will look into doing some more after that. Also, I'll probably have backlog of albums to catch up on after then, so if I find something that I'd like to review I hopefully won't have the 28-day wait before I can do it
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17.03.2018 - 23:14
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 17.03.2018 at 18:12

Yeah, I'm digging it, it's an interesting combo and from Atlantic City onwards it definitely picks up, hopefully with time they can keep improving. Not completely sold on the vocals; I wonder how I would've felt about it if they had a gruff Scott Kelly-type on the clean sung vocals, but I'll probably end up giving it a couple more listens.


It's actually the cleans that had me sold on this
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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17.03.2018 - 23:35
nikarg
Mod
Good review man, this is a very cool album. And I agree, the cleans are great.
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