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Haunted Shores: Void

Haunted Shores is a side project for Periphery guitarists Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor. Their latest album Void is due for release on March 12.

Void is the follow up to the Viscera EP (2015), and sees the guitarists continue to use Haunted Shores as an outlet for their extreme metal influences; It’s certainly a step up in brutality form Periphery, and the release is probably best described as instrumental-blackened-technical-death-metal.

The guitar playing on the album is very impressive (which isn’t a surprise given the pedigree of the contributors). The riffs are super-technical and well composed; at times they’re not dissimilar to the sorts of riffs you might hear from Psycroptic or Revocation; they’re technical to the point that most ‘rhythm’ guitarists would struggle to pull them off, and they contain some form of melody line within them. As a guitarist myself I can happily listen through this album - the technicality contained within the riffing is enough for me to be entertained. However, if I take my guitarist hat off, I suggest that the lack of vocals and/or prominent melody lines may result in the release having a relatively niche appeal. I’mactually surprised that they didn’t reach out to their industry colleagues to contribute guest vocals or leads. To my ears a lot of the song structures seem to have some space for vocal contributions (or solos) which might have elevated the album to a different level. Perhaps they didn’t want this album to steal any limelight from Periphery, or perhaps that’s just not the vibe they’re looking for with Haunted Shores. The two tracks that offer something different to the blackened tech death onslaught are Null and Void (that’s two individual track names, not a phrase). Both of these tracks are well composed spacey ambient numbers which break up the album nicely. Nocturnal Hours is my favourite track. It features Jørgen Munkeby of Shining on Saxophone who provides some ‘lead’ instrumentation. It’s a great track generally, with an almost Blackwater Park era Opeth vibe. As good as the riffing is, the Sax lines help add a different dimension to the track-having something other than riffs for the listener to hold onto is a welcome change up.

All in all, you can’t fault the playing on this release or the quality of the riff-menship. However, due to the lack on vocals & melodies I’d suggest it is an album best recommended to diehard fans of Holcomb and Mansoor, or guitarists who enjoy heavy, technical riff-based metal compositions.

Track List
01 “Hellfire”
02 “OnlyFangs”
03 “When In Oslo”
04 “Null”
05 “Perpetual Windburn”
06 “Immaterial”
07 “Void”
08 “Nocturnal Hours” (feat. Jørgen Munkeby of Shining (NOR))

Added: March 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 159
Language: english

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