What do you get when you take a primarily one-man musical project from Columbus, Ohio and mix it with a two-man musical project from Malaysia? You get six songs of pure badassery from the freshly issued “Taurean” split EP from the Buckeye State’s THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) and the weed worshiping Hashishian of course! Only THAL‘s Vince Green (John Walker) is joined by his wytCHord bandmate, Kevin Hartnell, for some help with the drums and guitars on this new material. Meanwhile, Hashishian is working within its own two man configuration for their contribution here as well so let’s jump into it, shall we?
THAL‘s trifecta of terrifying tracks begins here with the fantastic “Bloodglutton“, a track that begins seemingly harmless enough with some low volume bass licks that gradually begin to build. Enter some wailing guitar, Vince’s vocals and right before the one minute mark, a bloodcurdling shriek/scream that will shudder you to the bone. In fact, the vocals are quite unlike ones from earlier material as they’re laced with banshee-like howls and high ends at times and then swing to the other end of the spectrum with guttural inflections. From there things meld into a slow grooving ride of hypnotic psychedelia with spoken word segments about what sounds to be a Chupacabra. The bluesy guitar riffs roll to and fro as the drums pound out their beat, only relenting for a return to the earlier bass lines that take things on out to their end. Another slightly subtle intro to “Flood The River” before some gargantuan grooves erupt and find a bluesy slow roll, unfurling a definite Southern Doom feel to things. Once again we get some experimental turns in the vocals as the track chugs along like a despair-driven locomotive until the third song arrives, “Feast For The Wicked“. There’s an almost NWOBHM/Classic Rock vibe happening here, like Thin Lizzy in hell in this uptempo, highly energized cut. And yep, more varied vocalizations as the quicker-paced music ebbs and flows beneath them. The guys find an almost cadence-like rhythm that propels the song and keeps things moving and flowing at dizzying speeds, with some nice flourishes, right up until the abrupt ending.
Hashishian arrives with a subtle, stoner-fried haziness of simple drumming and bass lines that kind of lull you into a sense of tranquility. It doesn’t last though as Seth and Allen musically erupt into the sludge that is “Carving The Void” and everything goes sonically haywire at frenzied intervals. Their second offering, “Journal Of A White Crow“, has its own classic rock vibe going on in its flurry of guitars and solid drumming until a detour into doomy atmospherics about mid-way. Short, trance-like periods mingle with others where an onslaught of musical feedback and high-end clean vocals bombard you from all about. “Magic Of Kenna“, the last track, is an instant dive into a bog of doomy tones within a hive-like buzz of electrified activity. The rapid-fire drums and seemingly incessant sonic assault does eventually subside into a period of straight up Iommian, or Sleep-inspired, guitar-generated doom and verbal wailing. It too soon reprises the upbeat mode headlong into a dynamo of dog-fighting guitars and music that builds and builds up until its eventual end.
End and begin again because one start-to-finish listen to the THAL/Hashishian split EP, “Taurean“, will not be enough and you will have to have more. Lucky for you, not only is it streaming in the Bandcamp embed above but once there, you can grab this incredible offering as a NYP (Name Your Price) item..with the bands’ blessing! Damn, this is like Christmas in February! Ho, ho, ho and Go! Go! Go! Nex’users because you need, and need to hear, this kickass release immediately.