Review: The Haunting Presence

1653
85
Share:

It’s procedure – a label touts their newest death metal release (for example) as sui generis, utterly unique and extraordinarily different from your average death metal album. This is something Hell’s Headbangers Records does pretty frequently. The press release for The Haunting Presence’s self-titled MLP is slinging the album as “far removed from the now-typical bestial metal cliche.”

I’ll shoot you straight, slick. It’s really not that far removed. It’s actually pretty cozy with “the now-typical bestial metal cliche.” Their butts are probably touching. But – and here’s the ticket – that’s okay. Typical doesn’t necessarily mean average. While, stylistically it’s really not too different from what bands like Blasphemy have done before (and even less so what bands like Teitanblood are doing now), quality still merits its existence.

Depending on who you are and what you’re into, that quality might shine through right from the get-go. The moment the first gutted, crackling chord wormed its way through my ear canals, my fists and buttocks forcibly clenched of their own volition. By the second, I was repeatedly muttering yesssssss through a crooked scowl. By the third, I think I was just punching shit clear off my desk. Those three chords are hammered out on repeat for the short duration of the album’s intro (“The Deity of Darkness“), and heaviness of the same caliber isn’t encountered again until warped variations of the the passage return in the outro (“The Deity of Destruction“). Between this – the dense bread of our bestial sandwich – rest four thin-cut slices of high-speed fury.

THP2

It’s all the work of one mysterious fella from California under the pseudonym THP-SOH (also a member of The Black Twilight Circle, though based on the music, he’s an odd fit). He specializes in quick, volatile songs that burn out fast, each running somewhere between 2-4 minutes long and damaging between 2-4 of your intervertebral discs. The Haunting Presence, like most of its ilk, isn’t concerned with drawing you in; it’s all about delivering the sudden, caustic blast right to the teeth and through the back of the skull. The short songs work splendidly.

It may be claustrophobic, but that’s not to say it’s a mess without form. The riffs are muddled, but they forge ahead in clearly discernible patterns. The propensity for a nonstop salvo of vicious speed leaves very little room for more substantial, pendular grooves. It’s breakneck almost all the way down, and the drums are to blame. Riffs that may have grooved hard in another life are re-purposed by the relentless snare – a zealot in its devotion to the blast and its many manifestations. “The Ultimate Climax of Darkness” introduces passages of a (relatively) slower pummeling, but they rest on a hair-trigger, returning to full tilt just before you’re able to get your bearings. It’s unsettling, which is almost certainly the intent, as according to THP-SOH, the album is meant to be “…a demonstration of [his] paranoia, perversions, madness, psychological understandings, connection with negative feelings/thoughts, and the energy being produced through these meditations…”

 

The vocals drive that motif home with a frantic almost-whisper curtained in so much delay that quick phrasing often translates to deranged chatter between multiple cold-blooded throats. His snarling only lets up for some of the guitar solos, which come across as equally frenzied and unhinged. The way their razor-sharp tones slice through the musical slop is most satisfying, and the last section of “Continuously Assaulted by Spirits” is a dead ringer for Solo of the Week. Bonus points for their liberal use of the most underutilized and under-appreciated of all musical flourishes – the sacred divebomb. My formal stance on divebombs is “do as many of them as you can, as fast as you can”, and THP seems to be of the same mind.

This is a pretty lengthy review for a 17 minute piece of music. You can either take that as evidence of its value, or as evidence of my inclination to ramble on, but you ought to give The Haunting Presence a chance either way. It’s a concise, effective battery of black/death metal. What’ve you got to lose? Even if you hate it (you won’t), you’ve wasted 17 minutes on way dumber shit.

Image VIA | Photo VIA

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
  • Tyreeling In The Years
    • The whole thing is streaming on their Bandcamp as of last week.

      • Tyreeling In The Years

        Just noticed that now. After my lunch break I’m all over this!

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Hubert, Goat ov ……Satan

    Sounds promising, will listen to in the near future. Good review Master of Lords, as always.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Agreed on the review tip.

      Masterlord >>>>>>>>>

    • Aw, thanks Huberts. You flatter me.

    • Guacamole Jim

      The Masterlord never lets me down (except for earlier this morning when the picture controversy was exposed! Never forget #RowRowFightThePowah).

  • “The Deity of Destruction” has some siqq riffs brah

  • Hubert, Goat ov ……Satan

    “The press release for The Haunting Presence’s self-titled MLP…..”

    MLP = My Little Pony
    Masterlord, are you a brony?

    • Hells Headbangers confirmed bronies.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Hells Headbangers releases some great shit. Their distro is ridiculous.

        • One of the best rosters period.

          • Hubert, Goat ov ……Satan

            Profound Lore?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Damn good too.

          • Sumerian?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Derp.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            I’m keeping my ears and ears tuned to Handshake, Inc.

        • Tyreeling In The Years

          It’s really impressive. I got the latest Sadistic Intent EP from there, also picked up a Revenge, Conqueror, and Krisiun t-shirt. Good shit.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Nice. I need to get that cunting Sadistic Intent one.

        • Scrimm

          Good mailorder? One of the few I haven’t used yet.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I think so. Pretty fast, with a ton of albums, patches, etc.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Really fast. 3 days usually for me.

          • Scrimm

            Good enough for me.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Really good, fucking waiting 2 months now for one order from Daemon Worship.

          • Scrimm

            I hate that bullshit. I ordered a Revel in Flesh shirt from FDA Rekotz and after a couple months hunted them down only to find out my order had been cancelled and I was never notified or given a reason. Lacerated enemy sucks ass too

          • Scrimm

            Fast is key. I’ll pull the trigger next time I’m there.

      • Reposted Avenged Sevenfold Fan

        As a fan of both Avenged Sevenfold and MLP:FIM, you get the devil horns and a brohoof.
        m/ /)
        GREAT JOB!!!!!!

        -Tony Kinde. 4 months ago

  • IronLawnmower

    War metal is ma jam. This I jam. Evil I am BLASPHEMER!

  • Scrimm

    Looking forward t picking this up myself.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • I was curious about the Black Twilight Circle stuff. Now I’m more curious. Check this interview:

    http://noisey.vice.com/es/blog/song-stream-interview-with-black-twilight-circle

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    Buy now $6.66 USD or more

    http://i.imgur.com/yq76xKA.gif

  • Maik Beninton

    I click play and… OH MY GAD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR F-VOICE?

  • Good production. Very filthy sounding.

    The overall vibe is kind of oppresive; but I give him credit for returning of the scary part of Death Metal without being campy Cannibal Corpse.

    The lenght give it more punch.

  • JVVG

    Thanks to a sudden and unexplained increase in fees (20-30% of the purchase price, with no obvious pattern) tacked on by Canada Border Services starting this calendar year for packages of CDs from American distros to my home (so it might just be a British Columbia thing), I won’t be getting this if it’s a physical format only thing.

    I mean, technically there were fees, but they were always waived. These now go above and beyond the S&H already applied by the distributors, which to be honest is getting ridiculous to begin with.

    All that said, I still appreciate hearing about something I’d like, if I could actually get it. Maybe the B.C. government secretly *wants* me to buy everything from Bandcamp (…because they like the initials?).

    • EsusMoose

      Canada is weird yo

    • Guacamole Jim

      Huh. I don’t order enough stuff from the States to tell you if this is a Canada thing, or a BC thing. Weird, though. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST OKAYED THE PIPELINE HUH?? (disclaimer: fuck the pipeline and Alberta’s single resource economy)

      • JVVG

        It wasn’t B.C. that vetoed the pipeline everyone is talking about, anyway. #Thanks Obama

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhY9Zxv1-oo

        • Guacamole Jim

          Yeah, that’s the big pipeline, but I believed there was another pipe that was supposed to be going through BC, but there were too many issues with it to get approved. I could be wrong though.

          • JVVG

            Indeed. The ‘Enbridge’ line is the BC-Alberta one. It certainly gets as much press here as does Keystone, possibly because it faces less delay of eventually going forward despite concerns.

          • Guacamole Jim

            And there are a ton of concerns.. like the fact that half the concerns brought up by the BC government haven’t been addressed by Enbridge. And the new laws that are being proposed by the federal government which legally make oil & gas protesters into terrorists (and can be treated as such).

  • HATEBEARD

    Most of the black twilight circle stuff is pretty good. Makes me wonder if this guy’s hispanic/latino

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I really dig Tukaaria and Odz Manouk but I was less taken with Volahn and that Blue Hummingbird was p cool but didn’t grab me the same way as the first two.

  • Tyreeling In The Years

    This EP is great so far. Now we just need that new Abominator album.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX9bxQTxGQ4

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Spoiler: it’s good.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    • Tyreeling In The Years

      Michael McDonald voice.

  • Dagon

    I got money on my mind
    I got cash up on my brain
    I got green up in my eyes
    and I ain’t finna pass it mane

  • Dagon

    The illustration that serves as this recording’s cover is stupendous.

    • Lacertilian

      Cosigned x100.

  • Just listened. Good shit, as predicted.