Huldra = Isis + Neurosis + Rosetta
After an EP and a split with fellow locals Dustbloom, Huldra have finally released a proper full-length, and it’s a beast. It’s bigger. It’s louder. It’s more intense. It’s simply more of everything Huldra does well. The opening moments of “Monuments” are filled with a guttural growl from Matt Brotherton, setting the mood for the album as more of an attack than the build/crescendo/crash typical of similar bands. The key and synth work of Scott Wasilewski is, as always, a highlight, particularly on “Twisted Tongues and Gnarled Roots.” Atmosphere and a sense of weight are crucial to this style of metal, and these dudes fucking nail it throughout the record—saying that they are “polished” underplays how heavy this album is, but the performances from each band member are incredibly tight. To top it off, Monuments, Monoliths was engineered, mixed and mastered beautifully by Andy Patterson. This is the kind of music that bores deep into your heart—it will lift you, and throw you, and pick you up again, but it’s a hell of a ride.