Himsa Hail Horror

Held back by legal matters, it’s taken Seattle’s Himsa a while to follow up 2003’s excellent Courting Tragedy and Disaster album. But now with some ugly line-up changes behind them (end result: ex-guitarist Sammi Curr is back in), this melodic metal/hardcore band are back with an album that is more metal than last time out. John Pettibone’s vocals are a highlight, as always; the man has one of the best (if not the best) sounding and most powerful voices in heavy music today. His lyrical approach is, sadly, more metal this time out. Vaguer, less personal, and with less anthems, the lyrics don’t pack the punch that they have in the past. The tunes rage and spit a mighty metal froth, having more of a thrash edge and less of a hardcore stomp than ever. Some of the band’s power is lost with that as well, and although Hail Horror is a great disc, hopefully next time out the band can tap into that sense of personal connection that comes more with hardcore and less with metal, and made their past albums so unique. But metal heads hate personal connection anyway, and thusly this one’s gonna be popular in the metal scene. So, a slight disappointment from a fucking great band is still a totally above average album. (Prosthetic)