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Himsa
Summon in Thunder

Company: Century Media
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Thrash, metalcore
Rating
2.5



  • Himsa's American neo-thrash is both a blessing and a curse



  • This past winter, Himsa toured the States in support of Amon Amarth, the Viking clan from Sweden. The pairing wasn't an especially comfortable fit, but it allowed the band access to an audience that might have previously dismissed it out of hand without giving their rollicking modern thrash a fair shake. In any event, Himsa were undoubtedly more of a success than the other support act, Sonic Syndicate, and put on a brash, entertaining set full of crowd (and security guard) interaction that accurately reflects their music--irreverent and up-tempo with plenty of adrenaline and, most of all, a pervasive sense of enjoyment that one doesn't hear too often nowadays. 'Summon in Thunder' is the band's most recent effort and first on Century Media. It also welcomes back guitarist Sammi Curr, absent from the writing and recording of 2006's 'Hail Horror', and his presence gives 'Summon In Thunder' an alacrity that is well-timed for their major label debut. On this album, Himsa continue their trend towards a more legitimately metal approach, after their first three releases had a more pronounced metalcore edge. Frankly, the differences between 'Summon In Thunder' and some previous work is relatively minor, but it has been enough for the mainstream underground to accept them a little more willingly.

    More importantly, it's allowed their songwriting and performance to flourish. The harmonized refrains (well displayed on the single 'Big Timber') and speeding double kick (not strictly blastbeats) heard throughout the album are not techniques well-suited to metalcore, and Himsa exercise them with an ease and affluence that validates their change in style. Pettibone's vocals have remained rather consistent in tone throughout the transition--primarily a shout-growl with a moderate dose of supporting howls that show off his impressive if underutilized pipes--but he has effectively avoided falling into the heavy cadences of metalcore that can so quickly become staid. On the production front, the ever-popular Tue Madsen had a hand in mixing the album while Devin Townsend managed Pettibone's vocals, giving them some but not too much of the distinctive Townsend edge. Expectedly, the product is forceful and crisp all around, and if nothing else, 'Summon In Thunder' at least lives up to its name in sonic output.

    With plenty of attitude-driven grooves and saucy leads, Himsa's American neo-thrash dances on the edges of 'thrashcore', if such a genre can be said to exist, and this is both a blessing and a curse. It prescribes an engaging, high-voltage style that will appeal to a wide fanbase, but artistically sells itself a little short in the end. Not that thrash was ever the most emotionally dynamic of metal's subgenres, but Himsa haven't yet shed their glitzy edge, and while it lingers they are precluded from true thrashing dominance. Still, 'Summon in Thunder' is still fair entertainment that packs a hefty wallop, so long as one doesn't expect its impression to last long.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HIMSA
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Summon in ThunderHimsa
    2007
    Etiam6/12/2008


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