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The Howl
Skins of Our Backs
December 2010
Released: 2010, Self-released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

One of the most northern metal bands in this dying world, must come from a small town called Tornio, located in northern Finland. This band goes under the moniker The Howl, and they have just put out their debut album, SKINS OF OUR BACKS; an 11-song effort that has already received a pretty raving reviews in the Finnish media.

This trio is actually pretty interesting musically. The Howl combines Metal music with a healthy dose of simple Rock elements – making it all to sound relatively unique and original but most importantly pretty damn catchy and ear-capturing. The band´s furiously rocking Metal is – at least from the most part of it, very straightforward and fast-paced in nature, spiced with enough hooks and tricks that keep listeners´ ears tightly nailed to this record. To compare their stuff a bit better, I´d pick up such name as the defunct Swedish heavy wrestlers Furbowl in comparison to The Howl, making Furbowl´s musical approach a little bit slower, shortening their songs to 1-3 minutes in length – and finally adding a dose of Thrash-type of riffs into it and… voila! There you have this hard rocking Finnish trio named The Howl that has so beautifully and yet so well captured the essence of both Rock and Metal within their punishing debut album. Even vocalist Hannu also has a very similar tone in his voice, to make us rightfully compare his deep and masculine vocalism to Johan in Furbowl/Hearse, etc. – or whatnot L-G in Entombed even. Also, both Ari on bass and Timo on drums have clearly adopted the idea crystal-clear how The Howl should sound like in the first place, following the band´s well planned musical recipe as determinedly and loyally as it can just be possible.

Overall SKINS OF OUR BACKS is an enjoyable and entertaining slab, having a solid component of straightforward Rock and Metal music tied around it nicely – and undoubtedly reaching more curious people to check it out. Recommended.
Track Listing

01. As Above...
02. ... So Below
03. Passion or Greed
04. Jacking It
05. Biodiesel Arsonist
06. Pressure Points
07. Pile It Up
08. Word Is Law
09. Heart and Soul
10. U.F.O. Witness
11. No Ghouls


Hannu Lindholm - Vocals and guitar
Ari Ojanperä - Bass
Timo Lindholm - Drums

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» Skins of Our Backs
by Luxi Lahtinen

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