It is my distinct pleasure to premiere a new track from my favorite split of 2016.
West Virgina’s Torrid Husk is one of the best new black metal bands in the United States. Initially capturing my attention with the Caesious EP in 2014, the trio utterly cemented their status as giants in their field later that year with the Crawling Mountain Apogee split with the like-minded progressive doom/sludge outfit Myopic courtesy of excellent boutique label Grimoire Records. This September sees Grimoire striking split gold again, this time pairing Torrid Husk’s swarming ferocity with Hellenic black metal group End‘s stately grandeur. The resulting split, Swallow Matewan, is a triumph of raw fury fettered to peerless vision. It is with great pleasure that I offer you the chance now to hear the opening track to that split, Torrid Husk’s “Mourning Cloak Spell,” in full.
Fans of the band will immediately note that Torrid Husk have wasted no second over the last two years honing their songcraft. With the addition of new guitarist Miles, Tyler (guitar, vocals, synth), Tony (drums), and Jon (bass, synth), have refined their sound into a sharper, more robust art that stands head and shoulders above their already excellent work on Crawling Mountain Apogee. From the opening arpeggiated run that divebombs into a ravenous vortex of blast beats and tremolo riffs, Torrid Husk routinely sounds like a band dangling right on the edge of a razor blade above a churning maelstrom of razor guitars and crushing percussion. Even when the band experiments a bit with layered vocals, more progressive transitions, and a feedback-drenched pause around the 4:30 mark to allow some truly haunting vocals to emanate up from the maw of the grinding, watery abyss, the energy never falters, never deviates, and never declines. The final minute of this track, featuring a swelling bass rising and falling like a merciless tide while Miles and Tyler trade shifting riffs atop Tony’s unbelievably frantic drums, is a thing of utter beauty.
More impressive is the fact that Torrid Husk maintains that careening, paradoxically unhinged yet bafflingly tight songcraft for their remaining half of the split. It’s as if the West Virgina quartet are truly seeking to capture the essence of the cover art for this split and submerge the town of Matewan, with its blood-soaked history, beneath the foamy spray of a merciless sea of riffs and blasts. I can’t wait for you to hear the whole thing.
You can jam another Torrid Husk track, the excellent “Carminite,” below, as well as one of the more regal, measured tracks from partners End. Be sure to swing by Bandcamp and pre-order your copy of Swallow Matewan today. Also, head on over to the Facebook and say, “Howdy” to both Torrid Husk and End.
Swallow Matewan is due September 23rd via Grimoire Records.