Howling Giant - Alteration

Alright waveriders, when it comes to Howling Giant from Nashville, TN, I am always on. What I mean is these guys are phenomenal, pure and simple. There are no other words to describe them and that's how I have felt since I first saw them live while they were still called SKLDZR. Back then they reeled me in hook, line and sinker and that hook especially keeps burrowing deeper and deeper with each new release. Even more so when they changed name to Howling Giant, this fascination and love for the band grew rapidly. And that's why we are talk about their new recording. And yes, my excitement has shot through the roof!


After 1 full-length, 1 split and 4 EPs (well I’m counting the remastered version of their debut EP), EP numero cinco (or numero cuatro depending on how picky you are), 'Alteration', is here and there are two immediate changes to bring up since last time. First up, Howling Giant are as of now a quartet with Marshall Bolton joining on keyboards and synths. A very wise move, indeed, and really just a matter of time. They have been adding more and more keyboards, organs and synths on the last few recordings, so this is a natural step and something I like. The second change is that ‘Alteration’ is instrumental! In reality this is not a huge step as such because, both live and on recordings, the band goes off on long wonderful instrumental jams. After all, the guys are phenomenal musicians, so if any band should go for lyric-less compositions it’s Howling Giant. Still, I love their spaced-out lyrics and vocal harmonizing which therefore will make this a very interesting listening session, indeed!


Opener ’Understudy’ comes flying out of the starting block in a mammoth like fashion. The riffing is sharp and on point, while the rhythm section is heavy as lead with the keyboard floating on top. Just a short bit in a spacey feeling soak the song only to revert to the heaviness. And that’s how this excellent opener plays out. Reverting back and forth between tempos and emotions Howling Giant immediately show they are a world force to reckon with, nay, a universal force. Wonderful! ‘Luring Alluring Rings’ bring forth a huge sense of transcendence, of taking a trip around Saturn while explore this faraway place. It gives me a sense of peace and wonder at the same time as the guys simply flood my aural and mental senses of amazing visions. ‘Enemy Of My Anemone’ is filled with rhythm, groove, riffs and wonderful solos and again Howling Giant pulls me out to the far corners of the universe. The music builds up, then it kind of erupts only to drop back…only to start over again. All the while the keyboards add extra layers which definitely enhances all my senses. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic! Closer ‘Farmer Maggott’s Crop’ is different than the other compositions in the sense that Howling Giant go for a rural feel. It follows the same kind of mood and vibe they’ve created but apart from that we’re back on Earth as the band marvels over the beauty that surrounds us here. Sebastian’s bass playing is brilliant and leads the way while Tom and guest guitarist Mike T. Kerr pulls off amazing solos.


Howling Giant started out on a very high note, something they exceed with every new release, which is extremely evident on ‘Alteration’. The rhythm section of Sebastian Baltes and Zach Wheeler on bass guitar and drums respectively doesn’t only play rhythms and keeping the beat. They also lead the way which allows Tom Polzine to absolutely crush it on the guitar. Add Marshall Bolton’s mind-expanding work on the keys and, well you have the release of 2021 in your hands. Why Howling Giant aren’t giants within the general public is a damn, horrible shame. But I guess more for the rest of us although that’s not fair on this band. They deserve world recognition and domination, so get your hands on this waveriders! Stunning and….well, fucking stunning!




Whitenacho said…
Just got turned onto this band about a month ago and I fucking love em!