This Californian quintet are both angelic and aggressive in equal measures as they juxtapose throughout the course of 'Let It Go'.
Fourteen tracks are a lot to digest on a debut album; for that matter any album - so instantly you know this will be quite a journey. Their brand of rock music is modern Metal which sits comfortably in this day and age. The production values suit their style although it avoids studio trickery and the notable polish bigger bands share with their listeners.
An opening track can occasionally tell you all you need to know about what is to follow. In this case, I'd say that 'Crutch' does the job nicely in that respect. The sound is brash in places and the clean vocals surf over the waves of jagged and precise distortion. The band has dual vocals taking place and mix in some growls and a roar with the vocal delivery. This provides a menacing undertone to their harsher expressions within 'Let It Go'.
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The ebb and flow at the beginning of 'Let It go' doesn't break sweat as 'The Following' leaps and lurches in to life. This track takes a twist for the better as we're guided in to tranquil waters.
"Building our church on the ground..." as reflective lyrics weave amongst the mellow guitar passage. 'Illaborous' reiterates their penchant for melancholy guitars before bringing some anger to the table. Their ability to maintain an intense presence is retained as our ears visit 'Before', 'Medicine' and 'Shadows'.
I'm often impressed by the seventh track on an album, so I looked forward to 'Fuller' when it arrived. On this occasion, 'Fuller' more than satisfied maintaining a dark and moody shadow as it waded through the mire of emotion that plagued it. As you continue to be chained to the band and travel through the remainder of 'Let It Go', songs like 'Amphetamine' and 'You'll Never Know' sit well with me.
To summarise what Haster have got here, I would have to say they are doing what comes honestly to them. The music is sincere, complex and uncompromising. These values assist bands to gain respect and integrity over the duration they exist but don't bring big audiences or secure a contented level of commerciality. It would be fair to say that despite containing fourteen tracks, it is an exhaustive collection of intense modern Metal that hints at many comparisons, but mostly follows its own heart.
I live near a wee place called Haster which is quaint, peaceful and picturesque. When I attempt to make comparisons between that place and this album I find they are a complete contrast overall. So if you fancy some Modern Metal; progressive at its core and a sincere truth embedded deep in the musical landscape they express, then Haster might be your new favourite band.
On the other side of the coin, if that sounds like hard work or something that makes your ears recoil in horror, then find the nearest fire exit.
Within These Walls
You'll Never Know