Thursday, October 30, 2014
if you missed it: Hod from Texas, U.S.
Hod (U.S.): Book of the Worm (Arctic Music Group) Given that Hod’s last studio album “Serpent” is from 2009, and that it wasn’t always clear that this new one would ever be published, I can tell you that this material sounds carefully crafted and ready for scrutiny. Hod works with riffs that the listener into this style will notice for the quality and effort. You see, the Texas metal veterans are old-minded, experienced when it comes to their black/thrash/death metal. To me, Hod takes Possessed’s spirit of “Seven Churches” and the ire of Thornspawn, for a sound between black/thrash/death, war metal and black metal. Speaking of Possessed, Hod’s first track “When the Ghouls Feed” channels the classic Possessed trait of song intro buildup (as found on “Burning in Hell” or “Holy Hell), but Hod extends the beginning chaos moments, and then unleashes the storm. The band has undoubtedly listened to “Seven Churches” about a million times (notice the guitar tone); add to that the fact that the guitarist Carl Snyder recorded with black metallers Thornspawn from 1997 to 2007 (according to Metal Archives) and you hear Thornspawn’s toxic mix of war and black metal (like “Blood of the Holy, Taint Thy Steel” or “Wrath of War”). The best thing about Hod is the attention to the songwriting. The band’s lyrics and image would lead you to believe that they are low-life alcoholic unemployed stupid-dangerous hobos on probation, in other words, talentless hacks and worthless trainhopping squatter bums, but the Hod-men are devoted to their field. There is no way that the guitars or songs could be this way without an obsession for detail. You don’t just get up in the morning and “write” these songs drunk and watching television, like some sort of one-note core or groove knuckledragging homeboywalkrespect “metal.” Listen to Hod and compare the riffs, general guitar work, vocals and songs with your favorite 2014 albums so far and you’ll notice that Hod has many qualities that reveal a metal intelligence that is hidden behind the band’s image. Let’s not kid around, Hod is skillful metal that comes from years of serious knowledge and a high IQ in metal. www.facebook.com/pages/Hod/118127951554999