Review: Husk – Fangs

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Label: Death Kvlt Productions

Fangs is an aptly named EP. The debut release from one-man band Husk is the sound of teeth and claws; of watchful eyes in the night; of terror come to life, unleashing violence upon innocent flesh. The three tracks of raw black metal on Fangs are minimalist in approach, with a commitment to atmosphere; but whilst that word usually implies something meditative and hypnotic, in this instance it is an aura of tension and dread, and the promise of death.

This may make Fangs sound like a record that’s solely concerned with savagery. Whilst that aspect may make up a large part of the character of Husk’s sound, there’s also a melancholic, almost DSBM-esque use of melody at points – chiefly on second track, ‘Black Altar’, though there’s also some very effective, frost-bitten melodies to opener ‘Night Hunt’. An awareness of when to ease off slightly is also present, which helps to prevent the listener from becoming overwhelmed, given that Fangs is the kind of record that could have easily become numbing, such is its onslaught. The contrast created is very effective, and ensures Fangs doesn’t come across as one-dimensional, or have the impact of its ferocity diminished.

With this said though, it has to be emphasised that the different tones and sounds of Fangs are all varieties of black. There is no real light to be found here, and little respite. Over the course of three tracks and sixteen minutes, this is perfectly fine – and makes for an engaging, invigorating listen. But I would worry that, over the course of a full album, such devotion to darkness could become wearying. That’s a concern for another time, though; the duration of the EP is such that it leaves the listener wanting more, and there’s enough evidence here that Husk’s sound could be expanded, to explore those melancholic, DSBM-esque melodies without losing the raw viciousness that is at the heart of Fangs. It is a fine EP, and a promising debut, and I look forward to seeing what Husk release next.

Fangs can be downloaded via Bandcamp; a cassette version, limited to 15 copies, is available via Death Kvlt Productions.

 

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