There are still bands out there that continually put out great music. You know what I mean? Like, their albums are constantly consistent, the track order makes sense, and from start to finish they provide a masterclass in how to do things just right. Sonic comfort food, if you will. Tennessee’s Howling Giant is one of those kinds of bands and on their debut full-length, The Space Between Worlds, they offer up a sprawling epic destined to show up on many a 2019 “Best Of” list and linger in the collective consciousness long after this year is through.
But I digress.
“Comet Rider” just owns. It’s a fuzzed out incendiary slab of opening prog rawk that’s as much a throwback to Moody Blues as it is the modern psychedelia of Monster Magnet. Yet so much more. It’s grandiose and epic with big riffs and bigger organs (Courtesy of Drew David Harakal II) giving the track even more dimensions as Zach Wheeler stunningly pummels leading into a massive riff-laden jam to conclude the track. Let’s put it this way: “Comet Rider” is like having dessert for your first course.
And the tasty treats just keep coming…
“Nomad” is a lurching dirge to start before Tom Polzine’s guitars take the track from night to day with this crunchy, pulverizing riffage that shifts from a mystical groove to a mondo wall of sound with ease. Then “Ghosts in the Well” goes all acoustical and has the tendency to sound like Baroness (“Steel That Sleeps the Eye” immediately comes to mind) with these layered, beautifully lush passages. “The River Guide” follows the groove trend before “Ice Castle”, which may or may not be about Elsa’s home away from home in Frozen (It’s not!), gets some help from ASG’s Jason Shi and rumbles along with Kevin “Big Business” Dempsey providing some Earth-shattering bass tones reminiscent of Kyuss.
“Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express” gets the award for best song title here on a track that is like this beastly Frankenstein kind of experiment mixing the Pop of Weezer with the sleekly-produced desert rawk of Queens of the Stone Age and the rawness of the aforementioned Kyuss. Trust us, it works. Really well.
“Everlight” emerges from a subtle guitar chord and haunting vocal hum from Polzine before venturing into guitar god territory as these soaring riffs lead the song into a tribal finale. “The Orb” builds to this grinding riff-fest similar to a modern Mastodon classic with Neurosis nods as the riffs conjured from Polzine and bassist Sebastian Baites create this unstoppable wall of sound with their respective instruments with the track just continually moving full throttle until fading away with a ghostly piano-laden outro.
A killer album needs a killer end so it’s fitting that “Stone Giant” is the ditty to do just that. Going for the jugular with this relentless barrage from the trio, the song is the ultimate conclusion as this vicious beast unfurls with staccato attacks sashaying their way in and out of the main thread, bubbling with anticipation and burgeoning into this mountainous colossus to close out a colossal mountain of music you definitely should not miss out on.
The Space Between Worlds drops into our stratosphere on September 27th thanks to Blues Funeral Recordings. Pre-orders are up now and you can get yours by clicking right here. For more on Howling Giant, including upcoming tour dates, head on over to the socials here and here.