Hematovore - Untitled

posted by Greg, Friday July 22, 2005 @ 10:14:31 PM

Artist: Hematovore (http://www.acerbicnoise.com/Hematovorehalf.htm)
Album: Untitled
Release Date: June 2005
Label: Acerbic Noise

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks: Witherspoon Pt. 2, Blastin' Through The Back Nine, One Unit, Whole Blood

What pops in your head when you think of Auburn, Alabama? College football? Tractor pulls? Beered-up rednecks with their hairy guts spilling out of their overalls? Trailer parks? Inbreeding? All of the above? The phrase "good metal music" probably didn't pop in your head, but maybe a Deliverance-style banjo solo did. Hematovore is ready to change all that though and make you forget about everything else that sucks - they are easily the best thing to come out of Alabama since I-85, and definitely sound a lot better than the grunting, groaning and pig-calling you're likely to hear everywhere else in the state.

Hematovore play a heavy, sludgy style of wordless instru-metal that, upon initially hearing it, sounds just like a Pelican clone. Indeed both bands are similar in that their two most recent albums feature no words and riffs so thick and fuzzy you can just feel the bong water dripping off of them, but where Hematovore differs is they venture all over the musical spectrum instead of staying in the slow, doomy Pelican atmosphere. Untitled features bits and pieces of furious thrash, prog-metal technical wizardry, long, drawn out spacey riffs, and a lot of other aural surprises. If you like Pelican but wish they were a little faster and heavier, say hello to Hematovore, your new favorite band.

Let's go through some of what you'll hear on this album, as there truly is something for almost everyone on here. You like breakneck riffing and drumming that matches the pace? Check. Heavy hardcore-style groove-laden breakdowns? Check. Rock solid riffs that will have your head nodding like a narcoleptic with a bungie cord attached to their neck? Check. Trippy acoustic sonic dreamscapes? Check. Lyrics? Well... 4 out of 5 ain't bad. The best part is, literally every song features most if not all of these styles all within the same song, shifting effortlessly between genres and showcasing a level of songwriting rarely seen or heard from heavy metal bands.

Another thing that is very refreshing about Hematovore is that the band refuses to take itself seriously. In the current metal scene full of trendy woe-is-me emo-puss metalcore where most songs are about how hard high school is or something or other, Hematovore is content to just let their music fly all over the place with no questions asked. Take the song (and clear album highlight) "Blastin' Through The Back Nine" for example, which may just be metal's first ever song to incorporate golf sound effects. The band plows through thick heavy riffs and speedy doule-bass thrash work for about a minute, then everything comes to a complete stop, a second of silence, then a golf ball is heard being smacked off a tee, then back to the music. Some cool spaced-out riffing follows, then a repeat of the earlier thrash a few minutes later, only this time it's a golf ball dropping into a cup when everything stops. It's originality like this, which is on display all through the album, which makes this a not only memorable but fun listen. In fact, I almost passed on listening to this album because I read the goofy song titles on the back and thought it was some crappy indie-rock album, little did I know that it's all part of the Hematovore don't worry, be happy vibe.

A few of the tracks here and there fall prey to overwinded experimentation (namely the two 8-minute plus songs, which both could have benefitted from having a few minutes trimmed off of each), but overall this is an excellent album that definitely deserves your attention if you're looking to stay ahead of the metal curve. This is the perfect album to spring on your non-metalhead friends since there's no cookie monster vocals to scare them away, just good, solid driving heaviness and quite a few monster riffs. Indeed, it's the rare kind of album which would sound at home not only in the Wrekage library but also WREK's daytime rock library as well. Here's hoping Hematovore helps lead the charge against the current metal mediocrity of the masses and puts Auburn, Alabama on the map for some other reason than being the armpit of the country.

- Greg

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