Released: 2007, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
R.I.P. Himsa (1998-2008)
It was a bit startling when Himsa announced back in June that they were officially disbanding. After ten years of struggling to “make it,” it seemed that Himsa’s day had come with signing on to Century Media Records for SUMMON IN THUNDER. 2006’s HAIL HORROR was a rare bright spot in the over-crowded metalcore scene, no doubt due to the fact that Himsa was one of the genre’s pioneers. SUMMON IN THUNDER is no different, with John Pettibone’s vicious screams and growls, the glorious melodic guitar tandem of Sammi Curr and Kirby Johnson and the rumbling rhythm section of bassist Derek Harn and drummer Chad Davis coming together like a well-oiled machine. Punk, hardcore and metal—the most brazenly violent triumvirate in music—came together in Himsa’s music and the band executes it all like a ballet on SUMMON IN THUNDER.
The opening guitar salvo of “Reinventing The Noose” lures the listener in before the band grabs hold of its unsuspecting victim and never lets loose. Produced by Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Pettibone’s vocals are among the genre’s best and he proves it here behind the melodic runs of Curr and Johnson. Galloping rhythms will have many flashing back to the NWOBHM giants on “Big Timber” but Davis’ jackhammer beats power the song along with an aggression sure to fuel many a moshpit. “Given In To The Taking” is ripe for the live environment and “Skinwalkers” instills the melodic death guitar runs first made popular by Arch Enemy. “Ruin Them” is a thrash masterpiece with Curr’s blazing solo shredding up a storm, bringing immediate similarities to The Haunted. To offset the pedal-to-the-metal speed, the slow, moody “Den of Infamy” is a bit of an experimental move by the band that is dark but just doesn’t really work for Himsa. Maybe done by a different band, but this is not Himsa’s strength.
It seems a bit odd rating an album by a band who has decided to ride off into the sunset but SUMMON IN THUNDER is a hell of a way to go out. This is not a record that shows any sign of a band going through the motions and with Devin Townsend and Tue Madsen at the helm, it is clear Himsa went into this with an all or nothing attitude. True to their reputation, Seattle’s metalcore royalty has given its fans a big ol’ hunk of meat to chew on with their latest release and as they exit the hall of metal’s hallowed highway, we should give a hearty horns up to Himsa.
Nice knowing you, brothers!
KILLER KUTS: “Reinventing The Noose,” “Big Timber,” “Given In To The Taking,” “Skinwalkers,” “Ruin Them”