Standing Out from the Pack
Arguably one of the best fusion genre bands out there today, New York trio Thinning the Herd has successfully combined a brand of music that incorporates the sound of traditional heavy metal, punk, and psychedelic music since 2006. They are notable for providing high energy headbanging tunes injected with a ton of attitude. Their latest release, Freedom From The Known is arguably one of the best releases of 2013.
The album starts out with one of Freedom‘s strongest tracks, “Never Wanted.” The upbeat tempo is reminiscent of late ’70s heavy rock, but the guitar’s distortion and dissonant bass give it a sludge-y doom-rock sound. The song is a great stand out since it represents the general feel of this album; the riffs are monumental, clever, and inspired. Progressive elements are incorporated, and some moments are relatively soft and mid tempo, while others make for great moshing material. This makes the music compelling, and it helps avoid sounding monotonous, boring, or uninspired.
The production work is also quite superb, as all the instruments shine wonderfully in their own individual ways, even the bass guitar. The track “Dying Star” is a prime example, as it features killer prominent bass lines. And finally, the guitar solos used are outstanding; catchy and well done. As for the vocals, they too are quite notable. Gavin Spielman utilizes a specific style that is reminiscent of early punk rock music, particularly in early hardcore such as Black Flag. This, combined with the upbeat tempos, give the overall atmosphere of this album an interesting mix of heavy metal and punk rock.
In summary, Thinning the Herd have been successful in composing a monumental piece of work. Freedom From The Known is arguably one of the best albums to come out this year so far. If you plan on buying just one album this year, this one comes highly recommended.