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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Album Review: Howling Giant – Alteration EP

Multicolored trip

Howling Giant is back with their fourth EP tilted Alteration, a self-released project that only contains four instrumental tracks. Though the EP has a very short tracklist, the length of the project is extensive as nearly all tracks play for over five minutes. The solely instrumental EP is guitar-driven with some occasional drum smashing classic rock sounds.

The Nashville-based psychedelic rock band released Alteration as a tribute to fans who have supported them over the years, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. During their lockdown, the band hosted a series of live streams on Twitch where they performed live jamming sessions inspired by ideas suggested by their audience. The tracks from Alteration are from these live jamming sessions with some modifications.

The EP kicks off with raging guitar riffs followed by the sound of pounding drums in the track titled “Understudy.” This track could easily be featured in a movie soundtrack, as you could picture the climax scenes of a sinister being’s debut or a thrilling showdown is about to begin. The ups and downs of “Understudy” will have people headbanging and foot-stomping throughout every beat of the track.

Next follows “Luring Alluring Rings.” For those who are unfamiliar with Howling Giant, this chilled metal band draws inspiration from sci-fi and horror and is known to write lyrics related to space travel. The nearly seven-minute song begins with a slow psychedelic melody that gradually transitions into a grim heavy-metal rhythm. This track is a journey within itself as it takes the listener through ranges of emotions through sudden yet minor transitions that build up a different flow and different sensations.

The third track, “Enemy Of My Anemone,” begins with a captivating guitar riff that instantly mesmerizes the listener. The guitar riff transitions into a soulful guitar melody accompanied by synchronous percussions that give you the urge to dance.

The final and shortest track from the EP is titled “Farmer Maggot’s Crop,” which is just under three minutes long. This track features a more mellow and catchy melody, yet oddly enough, it gives off a bit of a Breaking Benjamin vibe. Despite the laid-back tone, this song features two soulful guitar solos by featured artist Mike T. Kerr mid-track that add bits of flair and excitement.

It is clear that Howling Giant is like no other band; they have a real appreciation for their fans. Very few artists would consider any feedback from fans when it comes to composing music or even song titles and ideas for an EP, which Howling Giant has done. Alteration is fit for anyone and everyone willing to go through a variance of emotions through the stimulating sounds of heavy guitar melodies and lively percussions.

(Originally published in MXDWN.)

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