Band: The Haunting Green
Title: Natural Extinctions
Label: Hypnotic Digital Records
Release Date: 05 March 2019
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital recording
This month The Haunting Green are swooping down from the breathtaking landscapes of northern Italy with their debut full-length release “Natural Extinctions”. The Haunting Green is a metal duo with a sound that is a complex blend of doom, extreme, ambient-drone and dark synth, with a ritualistic touch. The band is made up of Cristiano (guitar, vocals and synth) and Chantal (drums and vocals) and together their work explores themes associated with the human connection and interaction with the environment. From what I could interpret, this album focuses on the concept that each human will inevitably lose their symbiosis with nature, the pure side of the soul and will adapt to a modified and hostile environment.
This album is contemporary, gripping and feels like an precarious expedition through a stunningly beautiful but harsh and hazardous landscape. The intricate interlacing of extreme and ambient metal is executed so beautifully that I was compelled to return to this album again and again, and on each re-listen I discovered new surprising elements.
The experimental and ritualistic portions of the work feel very fresh and carefully considered, being complimentary without ever feeling too chaotic, or out of place. Throughout the album is the heavy presence of percussion and ambient synth which both build depth, darkness and add to the ritualistic feel, as well as flesh out the melodies. A great example of this is the gorgeous instrumental track “Lithia” which includes a variety of percussive elements and drum sounds that at times feel almost tribal in nature. The guitars on “Natural Extinctions” feel almost pliable, with the blending of emotive, subtle acoustic melodies and bleak, heavily distorted riffs.
The standout tracks for me were track three “The Natural Extinction” and track five “Where Nothing Grows”, these songs are both compelling, perplexing and beautifully showcase the strength of The Haunting Green’s sound. Also, on my first listen through I was immediately captivated by the opening track “Lazarus Taxon”, an elegant instrumental, thick with ominous drums, subtle guitar and haunting synth, which all build to an intimidating peak before reaching the sombre ending. The band’s commitment to the theme is also surprising, for instance using correct and precise scientific terminology such as the above mentioned song title. For those who may be wondering, the term ‘Lazarus taxon’ refers to species’ that are rediscovered after previously vanishing and being declared extinct (the most well-known example being the coelocanth which was presumed extinct for over 66 million years before being rediscovered in a fish market in 1938). Now, with the mini science lesson over here are my final thoughts.
Overall, this album delivers a uniquely blended, masterful sound that feels deep and carefully considered. The work is enveloped by a strong, well delivered concept that inspires contemplation. If you enjoy a contemporary sound, that melds together elements from many metal sub-genres and is oozing with extreme atmosphere then I can recommend getting lost in The Haunting Green’s “Natural Extinctions”. 7/10 Proua Metallist.
7/10 Victory is Possible
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