By: Skullgurl Metalchick
My first exposure to Dead Horse Trauma was at a little club out in the middle of no where. I knew from the very first song that those five guys had been gifted by the gods of metal. The energy on stage was electrifying, the music was masterfully delivered to an eager hungry crowd. After the show I learned the band was from Iowa, and I thought to myself “Iowa? Really?”, due to the fact I was born in Chicago and raised in Wisconsin, Iowa never seemed very metal to me. Suddenly, the voice of mutha-fuckin Corey Taylor popped into my head and whispered “It doesn’t get much more metal than Iowa, sweetcheaks”. That voice was right, in the last decade there have been many groundbreaking Metal bands to emerge from the corn state, Dead Horse Trauma is one of the most promising.
On Feb. 7th, 2016 the guys of DHT released their latest full length album titled “Life”. I am not sure if the title of the album is because listening to it gives you a renewed sense of life or it stirs up feeling that can make you do things that may get you “life”. Allow me to give you a little insight, read on metal soldiers.
Left Unsaid-Starts with a subtle intro , light and unassuming. The padded calm is quickly shattered thunderous assault of metal. A perfect marriage of Melodic Metalcore and Nu Metal, with lyrical magic layered in. “Left Unsaid” is also the first single and video off of the album. Second Track, “Gasoline Dance”, entices the listener with an aggressive and steel edged intro. Vocals are hauntingly , maliciously beautiful, filled with lyrics that are pointedly cruel and stabbing. TNT, track 3, will entice the listener to want to start a mosh pit wherever they are when they listen to this song. Angry guitar and kick drum swirl together in a caustic magnificent dance of anger and metal. Track 4, Resting in pieces, hits the listeners with a full battalion of heavy handed guitars and percussive tactical assassination. Vocals are dripping with malice, and burrow deep , bleeding with despair but leaving a gritty aftertaste. Kick drums resonate through out the composition like a dying heart beat. Always, the fifth track, comes right out of the gate with the brutalist of brutal intros. Verses chaotically barrel into the chorus relinquishing the death grip the guitars hold on the listener to a more melodic complex chorus. Track 6, In Viscera, is threaded throughout with techno undertones.
Vocals are beautifully macabre, layered with sorrow, loss and malice. Muted metal additives contribute to the dark depth this song possesses. Fugue State, track 7, the second single off the album has strange energy that envelopes the entire song with depravity and venom. Vocals masterfully mix indifference and veiled hate that is overwhelmingly and unrelenting. Melodic guitar leads add to the eerie wounds the lyrics cut into listeners very soul. Track 8, Deepest Sleep, offers masterful guitar riffs, that keep the song swirling, while vocals float above. Picture being in an ocean, being pulled under by the crashing waves, but feeling no fear only utopia, that is what this song is. Track 9, Love and War, serves up angry, hateful vocals. Old school, pure original metal guitar is spotlighted in this full-bodied composition. The band’s influences shine through bright and bold on this song. The Massacre, track 10, starts with crazy chaotic guitar, that would bring forth a mosh or head banging mob within the first 20 seconds of the track. Jagged edgy delivery of lyrics that rise above a deliciously and undeniably genius bass line. The final track, The Family, gets the listener pumped on dirty growling vocals and corrosive thrash guitar. Lyrics speak right to the listeners soul while , the rhythm section mysteriously attacks the sensibilities of the already unraveled listener.
There you have it, the Skullgurl’s take of this very talented band’s newest album. I have to be honest with you, dear readers, this version of Dead Horse Trauma beats the pants off the one I saw just a couple of years ago. A band as talented and versatile at DHT is hard to pin a genre on, I could go with the generic “kick ass metal”, but that doesn’t seem to do this group justice. I could go all technical and label DHT as Nu Metal, Metalcore or Melodic Metalcore, but I won’t, because that would sick and wrong and a disservice to these Iowa badasses. Just take my word for it, Dead Horse Trauma is one of the best any kind of metal band to grace the music world in the last decade. “Life” by far will be one of the top ten albums of the year lists of any and all music critics that knows anything about this genre of music. Don’t be left out, dear reader, follow the links below to buy the album, watch the videos and learn everything there is to know about Dead Horse Trauma
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