It's good: Huntsmen – Mandala of Fear

Not often does a band that's rooted in stoner, doom and post-whatever capture my attention like this. This album is incredibly diverse, and it does everything it attempts very well. Its 'basic' sound is indeed stoner-influenced (I hear Intronaut and Baroness and Mastodon in there) but this album is a ride that goes much further than that. It has blistering passages of rage that are not only heavy, but also quite unlike anything the abovementioned bands have ever put out; it has calm, soothing sections with amazing female vocals (more of that in metal, please); it has melodic passages that are total prog... With every single thing this band does, it sounds like that's the kind of band it is: 'this is a death metal band', 'this is an atmospheric folk band', 'this is a prog rock band', etc. Except it's all the same band!

The album as a whole flows wonderfully, with all of its songs (ranging from 2,5 to almost 11 minutes) having a certain purpose in the musical arc of the album. Just a rich and rewarding musical experience!


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