Monday 18 January 2016

Huron - The Dead Stay Dead


1. The Ark Of Deucalion
2. The Dead Stay Dead
3. Santa Muerte
4. Psychosis
5. Murder Hole
6. Despina
7. Bastard King
8. The Spirit Of Hate & Vengeance
9. Bokanovsky's Process
10. Solace
11. Flesh & Thorns

If it's one sub-genre of metal that the UK has been synonymous with it's thrash metal. From Onslaught in the 1980's to the New Wave Of British Thrash metal in the early 00's, where Evile and Gama Bomb got music fans and the press talking alike, it's always been a mainstay. Huron are hoping to carry torch for thrash in 2016 with a re-release of The Dead Stay Dead, an album that originally saw the light of day in mid-2015. It seems they've got big plans for this year!

Huron plays modern metal that’s full to the brim with melodic thrash. The Ark Of Deucalion shows a band with confidence. Confidence that only comes with playing both Download and Bloodstock festivals. This record’s title-track leans more towards European metal, bringing to mind bands like In Flames. It’s refreshing to hear a band not looking to ape the sounds of their American cousins in order to gain credence with younger listeners. Santa Muerte is heavy! An obvious statement when you hear those intro riffs really but I was hoping the rest of the record would be like this up to now. Personal quibbles aside, this is a great listen. The frenetic instrumentation during the song’s second half is neck-snappingly good fun and you can’t help but headbang along to it. Thankfully Huron retains that heaviness during Psychosis. The shorter song makes them sound more urgent and angry, with extra help coming from the clear production. One thing’s for certain, they know their way around a guitar solo! From Psychosis on, The Dead Stay Dead hits another gear entirely. Murder Hole is brilliantly catchy and even the semi-clean vocals don’t come across as being cheesy. Despina is a blaze of blast beats and crazed lead work, which is becoming a staple part of Huron’s sound. Huron leave no prisoners with Bastard King. It’s a violent song that has to be heard to be believed. It certainly propels the band into more extreme territory. Things get groovy on The Spirit Of Hate & Vengeance. The rhythms here remind a little of old Fear Factory (which isn’t a bad comparison), while there are hints of Soilwork in Bokanovsky’s Process. In my opening paragraph, I talked mainly about thrash but there is more to Huron than just one genre. They weave modern metal and even death metal textures into their music, which keeps it fresh. The final two songs on the record are more progressive and at time even slightly sombre. Solace (while suggesting peace and calm) is anything but. Solace flows almost straight into Flesh & Thorns, which rounds out the record with one final high-intensity barrage. I’m not embarrassed to say that this record was a lot better than I was expecting. Huron are excellent and with the maturity and professionalism that they show on record, they really should be bigger. I reckon they could definitely challenge for a place at the top of UK thrash now.

The entire album is streaming via Huron's Reverbnation page:-

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