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Howitzer - In Our Name

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Saturday, March 6, 2010 @ 11:22 AM


Indie

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I am hard pressed to think of when a sophomore release totally outshined a debut release by leaps and bounds. Mind you, I’m not talking just a solid release that shows some improvement, I mean a release that makes you totally forget the band existed prior to the debut release.

Such is the case with Howitzer’s In Our Name.

The songwriting, vocals, riffs – the band raised the bar to a phenomenal level that only time will tell if they themselves can raise it again. They sound like a totally different band from when they released Rise to Power. I seriously had to listen to this disc a couple of times to fully realize it was the same band. The progression is just that impressive.

I think for me, a favorite that stands out the most is Beyond the Black River - a song about regret with a dream experience of seeing yourself in two different scenarios – one real and one animated with no way out.

Each cut has its own distinctive personality, most notably the fact that on this disc there are three vocalists. Bassist Beau Diveley does lead on The Hydra Taint and The Mountain, drummer Jeremy Jalowiec does lead on The Fall of the Great Hope and The Hurt Locker, while guitarist Matt Moody handles lead on 245 and Keeping the Bitch at Bay. Especially profound is that Howitzer was able to wrangle Bjorn “Speed” Strid from Soilwork for vocals on 245. The fact that the band has opened up and spotlighted each member on lead vocals shows, well quite frankly – that they have the balls to back them up. The band also introduces a piano element done by Aaron Laman of Villain Recording Studio.

Interesting fact – a local venue called the Marquee is where the band held their CD release party and they now hold the highest attendance record for a local band. Sadly, this record is a number in which bands like In Flames, Danzig and Black Label Society haven’t obtained at the Marquee. Trust me, the Marquee is my second home and I have seen a thousand bands there, and the crowd was near sell out. It was amazing.

Quite frankly, Howtizer’s In Our Name and Overkill’s Ironbound are two discs on my shortlist for albums of the year for 2010. They are gearing towards being arena players in the not too distant future. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them on a Rockstar Mayhem tour in the next year or two.

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