THAL & HASHISHIAN
Taurean: Split EP – CD//DD
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
After a string of singles, multi-track EPs and the critically acclaimed 2016 full-length ‘Glitter‘, Columbus, Ohio’s one man abomination that is THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) is back! But the wizard-like maestro behind the project, Vince Green, has brought some friends along with him on this latest offering. Not only is his wytCHord bandmate Kevin Hartnell stepping in to contribute drums and guitars to this new material but hell, there’s a whole other band connected to this release. That band, Malaysia’s Hashishian, contributed three tracks along with THAL‘s three here for this six song, two band recording: the ‘Taurean‘ split EP.
THAL are the first to rumble out of the gate with their bass line-introduced first song, ‘Bloodglutton‘. Things quickly escalate into a full on aural discharge of wailing guitars and crushing drums before the lyrical lull of the first verse draws us into things. Before you know it, a vicious, throat searing scream fully unleashes the track loose upon us all. Things soon settle into a rhythmic patterning while spoken word inserts, in this case news reports, describe sightings of what sounds to be Chupacabra. Next on deck is the southern doom-infused grooves of ‘Flood The River‘, a song driven by thick, chugging riffs and splintering drum work. Hazy tones ripple across the air as Vince’s distinct vocals weave the tale to be told within the track. The last track from the Buckeye State boys is ‘Feast For The Wicked‘ which begins with some seriously Iron Maiden-ish-toned guitars before kicking in. Once fully engaged, the song takes on a bit more airy overtones as its uptempo, energized delivery powers through. You can hear a much different vocal approach here than what we are used to with THAL too but it suits the more European-flared power metal sound of the music well.
Hashishian are a quite bit different than their predecessors, at least style-wise as these guys play more downtuned, slower-paced sludge. Seth Nazgul (Bass/Vocals), Jiesus (Guitar/Vocals) and Sur Gondrong (Drums) are clearly students of the Black Sabbath-meets-Sleep school of sonics. Once the wispy, sedate intro of ‘Carving The Void‘ melts away, things explode into a deluge of fuzzened guitars, shuddering rhythms and acidic, volatile vocals. The thick-ass tones in the track periodically yield to frenzies of furious, punk-ish musicality. However, ‘Journal Of A White Crow‘ unfolds with some bluesy guitars wailing out as the cleaner delivered vocals present themselves. After a moment or two, things abruptly hit a wall of slowly rendered psychedelic flavors before reprising the frenetic intensities once again. Last track, ‘Magic Of Kenna‘, delves into a dizzying den of southern sludge and relentless rivets of drumming before hitting the brakes and turning headlong into some doom. It all escalates into squealing guitars, spiraling bass, and solid drumming before it finds its end and leaves you nearly breathless from what you’ve just experienced.
The unexpected pairing of THAL and Hashishian for the ‘Taurean‘ split EP was a nice surprise and in THAL‘s case, a nice holdover item while the work continues on the follow-up to Glitter. He probably won’t mind me telling you this but Vince recently let me hear a brand new THAL demo track, a work-in-progress if you will. Even in that raw state I can tell you the song is bad ass and definitely displayed some experimentation going on with the band’s overall sound, and vocals too. Anyway, ‘Taurean‘ is streaming in the Bandcamp embed below so check it out but wait, it gets better! Once there, the 6-song EP is available as a NYP (Name Your Price) item so you can snag it for notta if you must go that route.