Harsh, unpleasant, heavy and utterly sludgy, Haarp's return with their sophomore full-length effort Husks to remind us why sludge metal is one of the most challenging subgenres of doom metal.
With its use of slow and heavy tempos combined with simple and crushing, at times strangely groovy, guitar riffs and harshly yelled vocals on top, Husks is essentially the epitome of sludge metal. The album contains only three tracks, one of which nears a song length of 10 minutes, while the two others clock in at around 12 and 18 minutes. With songs of this length, the listener can either expect epic and lush music characterized by variation, or intense and dense music characterized by repetition. Needless to say, Husks falls under the latter category, each song taking its time, and each riff and figure being explored through repetition and slow build-ups. This is not in everybody's tastem but if you like sludge metal, then Haarp must simply hit the jackpot for you. This being said, we are not dealing with monotonous or boring music, as each track does contain a handful of changes and these are extremely effective in tearing the listener out of the fear-induced trance caused by the preceding riffs, only to force the listener into another catatonic stage of sludgy trance.
While probably not of much interest to those who like their music lush and epic, Haarp's latest album should, in all its unpleasantness, click immediately with fans of harsh sludge doom.
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