Huntsmen can best be described as bards of progressive-folk doom metal. Their album ‘American Scrap’ tells an epic odyssey with substantial 70s tone and thundering drums. Their technicality and progressive intricacies shine throughout, demonstrating an excellent understanding of rhythm, timing, and storytelling.
“Bury Me Deep” begins the album with a warm acoustic guitar intro, a powerful sense of freedom, and is built as a great distortion breaks through the veneer. Upon capture, we’re guided into the dissonant beginning of “Pyre.” A swampy Alice In Chains vibe underlies a powerful bass that truly carries your spirit away. It had the distinct swing of everything I loved from the Early Doom and Classic Rock. The tom work from the drummer carries each transition seamlessly with the distinct 70s rock knock.
“Canary King” opens with an ominous vocal harmony and then a technical crawl through a dense swamp of intricate timing. This track climaxes with thundering fills, epic pauses, and powerful vocals. The harmony of the vocalists and the technical capacity of the drummer truly shines in this piece.
This brings us to the interlude, “Shipwrecked.” If anyone can capture the sounds of shipwreck and sea voyage, it’s these guys. Their interlude track transitions from atmospheric to sludge as they showcase an incredible ability to play with big-time signatures. Their trudging quarter-time early pace is introspective and enlightening. The voyage brings us to the shores of “Atlantic City” in this explosive high energy track. Ringing and ominous delays highlight the technical guitar riffs and the vocalist’s ability as a storyteller. True heartbreak and reflection pour from the seeping pace and intricate progressive technicalities. A breakdown of thundering toms and smooth grooves progress the story forward.
The second interlude, “Insurrection” is an exotic auxiliary percussion segment accompanied by big guitars bringing us into “The Barrens.” This one is the most dynamic track on the album and is my personal favorite. The vocalist highlights his ability with intricate vocal melodies and percussive phrasing. Screams reminiscent to Gojira meets funk of early thrash metal emphasizing their punk, doom, folk, and classic rock influences. Captivating guitar melodies ripple throughout this track with a fat 70s groove. The breakdown drops, and it’s like you fell into everything you loved about Black Sabbath and Soundgarden.
“The Last President” is the final track and it opens with a haunting vocal duet. Encapsulated is a cold yet beautiful love story plagued by mourning and loss. The textures of stone and ice entrap the listener in the grayness of their plight as themes from the whole album. The story comes to a close in an epic finale and you are brought back to the ship and the pyre.
Everything I value in a great stoner/doom metal band exists in Huntsmen. They go above and beyond by incorporating progressive riffs and powerful storytelling to take listeners on an epic odyssey.
All I know is that this album was made to be heard on vinyl! So, pick up a copy of ‘American Scrap’ by Huntsmen! Limited edition Gold Splatter LP 300 available on their bandcamp.
1. Bury Me Deep
3. Canary King
4. Interlude A- Shipwrecked
5. Atlantic City
6. Interlude B- Insurrection
7. The Barrens
8. The Last President
Label- Prosthetic Records
Edited by Samantha Crocker