Thursday, September 7, 2017

Haze of Summer

[review by MMB]
Haze of Summer
release date: March 17th, 2017
1.March 04:51
2.April 07:18
3.May 05:18
4.June 04:51
5.July (Anno 2205) 06:23
6.August 05:11
total time 33:52
Haze of Summer is melodic extreme metal from Russia, and more specifically, it is melodic-melancholic, uptempo extreme metal, and it's meant to be easy, pleasant on the ears with a clear sound quality and it's very catchy music, with melodies all over the place and throughout the songs, not just for some segments like a chorus. The album is almost 34 minutes long and it is six songs. The format makes it, again, very easy to enjoy for supporters of the more modern or younger-generation styles in extreme metal, although, of course, there is no reason why those listeners with more days under the sun would not be able to approach and really get to know the sounds of Haze of Summer.
Fortunately, at the first link below you can experience the entire recording, and given its friendly length of time, you can hear the complete work all in one sitting, actually, without worrying much about how long the endeavor will take you. If you have read this far, perhaps you are interested, and if you happen to be the type of person that is relatively open to metal music that is new (or, at least, you are willing to give it a chance), you might just surprise yourself with these Russians’ album. I’m not even going to go into questions of categories or issues of genres, subgenres and splitting hairs about the latest and most recent labels for bands and all those type of debates, which is why, if you notice the opening sentence of this review, it simply said “melodic extreme metal,” which is what this is. As for the labels and all those things, including issues of haircuts and clothes that people wear, I’ll leave that up to you.
I do want to focus on the issue of melody and melancholy because it is fundamental to the music of this group. First, they have, as you will discover for yourself when hear it, melodies everywhere. Said melodies come from the guitars, but also from other instruments or sources, including the accordion, violin, synths and other places. The melodies can come from the guitars, such as solos, tremolo or catchy riffs and things of that nature. Nevertheless, there are sounds, like pop melodies or other sounds that you might find in techno pop, but, it should be underlined, that this is a tertiary technique, and it’s restrained and placed appropriately in some segments, and it is not predominant. In metal music, this is not a totally new thing, and some bands have been doing it carefully for decades. That’s the case here, it is done proportionally.
Haze of Summer does sound like a metal band. The various forms of growling are recognizable as extreme metal, and the drumming is uptempo, including some fast and blasting parts.
The other side of the matter of melody in Haze of Summer has to do with what I am calling melancholy. By this I simply mean the following: the melodies have a certain shade of happiness, yet they are designed to work in the shadow of a gloomy state of mind, a pensive or contemplative emotional state. I think it is rather clear that this is the intention of the band, to come across as melancholic, if not all the time, then certainly at chosen moments.
About the vocals. Certain bands that are popular with the younger generations in 2017—certain bands that have arrived after 2010 and that have been achieving success with the demographic of under 20 years of age, in places like the United States—have extreme vocals that are annoying or irritating to the fans of the more traditional extreme vocals like thrash, death and black metal because the screeching or screaming sounds like a form of hardcore/punk and alternative/indie shouting/screaming. Haze of Summer, you might like to know, sounds nothing like that. The vocals are done in a way that shows a training, a technique, a feeling for how the pitch, intonation or general vibe should be not screechy, not like some angry-child screamo throwing a temper tantrum. In that sense, the style of vocals should be pleasing to a much wider demographic.
I think the band has worked on making good songs and making it sound memorable and pleasant to the ear. Given it a few listens.
Do you agree?