"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Himsa - "Summon In Thunder" (CD)

Himsa - "Summon In Thunder" CD cover image

"Summon In Thunder" track listing:

1. Reinventing the Noose
2. Haunter
3. Big Timber
4. Given In To The Taking
5. Skinwalkers
6. Curseworship
7. Hooks As Hands
8. Ruin Them
9. Den Of Infamy
10. Unleash Carnage
11. Summon in Thunder

Reviewed by on November 18, 2007

"If you're in the mood for fast and aggressive music, this album will not let you down"

When Himsa enlisted Tue Madsen to mix their previous effort, "Hail Horror," the band immediately rose from the obscurity of a generic metalcore band to a thrashing heavy one. With production that brings their sound as close to The Haunted as humanly possible despite the differing styles, Himsa is back again with a brutal assault that is "Summon In Thunder."

From first barrage, one can hear that the same intensity as well as production from their previous album, "Hail Horror," is in tact. "Reinventing the Noose" starts out a little more melodic in a somehow different style than on "Hail Horror." The overall sound could still be described as metalcore, but that wouldn't do the album justice. If Unearth played faster and got really pissed off, that would be pretty close to what Himsa sounds like on "Summon In Thunder." Even then, the riffs on this album have a bit more thrash in them, going back to The Haunted comparison, and the drumming is outright frantic at times. Perhaps calling them a metalcore version of The Haunted would be more concise. Despite the oft-undesirable metalcore label, Himsa show just how much they can blend different styles together to make their own unique sound. In any case, the part of their sound that will appeal to many is the sheer brutality of the drumming and guitars.

"Big Timber" sounds more like "Hail Horror" material, with fast and brutally heavy guitars and vocal delivery as well as a kick-ass groove stuck in there. "Given In To The Taking" starts out with a melodic riff that reminds me of The Haunted before exploding into the usual fury or speed and screaming that is Himsa's current sound.

As the album continues, the use of the melodic introductions to each song becomes more apparent. In "Hail Horror," more songs opened with an explosive assault of guitars, screaming and drumming. In this latest effort, Himsa tends to establish a melodic riff or melody in the beginning of the song and return to it later in the song either as a change-up or accompanying the chorus. It is a welcome change, however, and gives the band more room for variety both from song to song and within each individual song. With more songs that break the four-minute mark than not on "Summon In Thunder," the band still manages to keep them interesting, as well as brutal.

"Skinwalkers" stands out, as it starts out with a melodic acoustic guitar intro. Even after the distorted heavy guitars kick in, they remain slower paced for a full two minutes before the song picks up in a melodic guitar riff and thunderous drumming. Within seconds, the intro has been forgotten as the riffing and screaming return to the usual furious pace.

"Ruin Them" starts out heavy rather than melodic and explodes into a fast pace only to get faster and more brutal yet. The song does take a break with a slower interlude of long open chords and a nice groove before accelerating back to the insane speeds before then end.

"Den of Infamy" starts out sounding more old-school, making use of a fade-in on a slow, drawn-out riff, and the song actually stays slow throughout. Pettibone growls the same vocal delivery, only slower. The song works well and is a nice break from the fury of the rest of the album. To emphasize this point, "Unleash Carnage" does what its name states in a two-minute ultra-fast-paced song that makes use of some blast-beats as well.

The title track is saved for last, and is perhaps the best mix of melodic brutality on the album, although not necessarily the best song.

With the direction Himsa has taken with their last two albums, they have quickly become one of my favorite bands, standing atop the metalcore genre with Unearth. "Summon In Thunder" is a nice evolutionary progression from "Hail Horror," and if you're in the mood for fast, aggressive music, this album will not let you down.

Highs: Fast, aggressive yet slightly melodic music throughout

Lows: Some of the metalcore parts sound like they've been done before, even if Himsa does them better and faster

Bottom line: Excellent thrash-inspired brutal metalcore from a rising leader of the genre

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)