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Huntsmen: The Dying Pines

This is an interesting one. Huntsmen are an American band in ways that very, very few other Metal bands can claim. These men (and woman!) layer their unique and idiosyncratic style of progressive doom with the sounds of backwoods folk music, and I don't refer to the jaunty and dancy European variety. This is the folk music of coal mine towns and mountain villages of America, and the melancholic heft of this style of music really lends itself nicely to metal as it seems. The Dying Pines is a 3 song EP that will serve as a great intro to Huntsmen, as it showcases the musical alchemy the band is capable of.

Opening with the title track, "The Dying Pines", Huntsmen waste no time in bringing the folk to the forefront. This is an entirely acoustic track that at times feel like it should be being played out of a phonograph somewhere out in a cabin in the woods. Coming from someone who doesn't have a huge amount of history with this style of music, it's an interesting breath of fresh air to hear something so earthy, raw, and emotional. It's theatrical, and really does transport you to a place that you may have only ever seen in pictures and tv shows. Huntsmen feature two vocalists, one male and one female, and they come together beautifully here. It's all at once depressingly grimy and beautiful.

"Let the Buries Lie Forgotten" is the figurative and literal centerpiece of the EP. It's a progressive and weighty metal track that eschews the peaceful acoustic guitars for screeching and dirty riffs and some surprisingly intense and furious drumming. Sounding like a crazy hybrid of Opeth and Mastodon and maybe even some early Coheed and Cambria during their heavier moments, this isn't something I've ever really come across before. While the riffs and drums come at you fiere on this track, the vocals are still performed in the manner of the previous track. Male and Female vocals mirror each other in harmonized misery as the band rages on. Such a bizarre cocktail, these Huntsmen are. Crosby, Stills, and Nash meets headbanging.

And with that clumsy segue, we are on to the final track; a cover of CSN's "Carry On". I haven't heard the original (surprise!), but this rendition certainly rules. Starting with acoustic folksy guitars (of course) and then leading into some meaty and weighty guitars, it's a pretty damn impressive mission statement from the band. I'm no expert, but I'm well aware that CSN were famous for their vocal harmonies, and this is certainly well observed in this version of the song. The vocals are the absolute centerpiece and star of the show here. Starting off subdued and gradually gaining more heft and power, they follow the flow of the music perfectly.

The Dying Pines is a refreshing and intriguing 3 song EP that pulls from so many different influences and musical places that it simply has to be heard to be believed. It's a style that most probably never even knew could exist until it enters your ears and subsequently burrows itself into your brain. Uniquely American and uniquely unique.

1. The Dying Pines
2. Let The Buried Lie Forgotten
3. Carry On

Added: September 17th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 145
Language: english

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