Rhode Island doom/sludge metal band Howl are coming back with their sophomore effort, “Bloodlines,” which is being released April 30, 2013 via Relapse Records. The band has changed immensely both visually and aurally. With their second release, they have introduced guitarists Josh Durocher-Jones and Jonathan Hall and bassist Jesse Riley to take the place of guitarist Andrea Black and bassist Rob Icaza. Vocalist Vincent Hausman is now focusing fully on vocals on “Bloodlines.”
“Bloodlines” also marks a change in sound by Howl from their first release, “Full of Hell,” which was a more sludge-filled album. While Howl still utilizes sludge metal elements in their music, they have also switched to a more doom metal style while even introducing some thrash metal riffs. Songs like Midnight Eyes are a perfect example of including thrash metal riffs. Of course, the majority of the song is more in the style of the aforementioned styles.
Songs like Demonic are faster paced and still maintain the band’s sound while bringing back their sludge metal roots. One Last Nail is a very nice song with its sweet vocal melodies. The rhythm guitars do a very nice job during the verses and the breakdowns in the track make it a mosher’s dream. This track does a nice job of shifting speeds mid-tune.
Overall, Howl has something nice with “Bloodlines,” and I just hope that more people get to hear this band.