I want music to touch and spark a deep emotion in me. It’s especially effective (and really kind of rare) when it reaches a darker part of me. I don’t require that there be any light within the darkness of heavier music . . . and am especially open to the kind of music which really embraces that. The Howling Wind have just self-recorded and self-released a new collection of songs on Bandcamp called Vortex that does just this sort of thing to me.
Of Babalon, their previous recording, affected me in the same way. But Vortex has an even darker, grittier edge, amplifiying The Howling Wind’s ability to slam raw noise, walls of dripping black guitar/bass/vocal damage and hulking/blasting/pounding drums together into songs that sling thick, dissonant riffage-upon-riffage into your face. I hate to condemn music to mere comparisons to other bands and genres, but I have to say that Vortex sits well nestled in between the most choice Venom and Celtic Frost, while still filling a void left for me by Watain after I realized that they offered no more true darkness than pigeon-killing and cat-cornering (they can just go sit beside Deicide’s Glen Benton and jack each other off, which would probably be more entertaining).
Vortex is raw, unrelenting and seething with oppressive ugliness. I don’t even need to see the lyrics to be moved by it. Couched within the disharmony & fury that these 8 songs are delivered with is something true that calls to me with a naked, harsh honesty. I’m always looking for this. I love it when I find it. The Howling Wind tap into a darkness that so many bands inefficiently dabble with. And they do it within the space of just over a half-hour. I am in and out of Vortex before I know it, stoked by it so much each time that I usually just start it over for a second round . . . which I just did while writing this. The creeping loop of the opening track “Tides” has just wormed into my ears again. I am ready for another go.
I don’t really even want to say that this is a review. I want it to be a thank-you.
Give your own thanks here.