Himsa
Summon In Thunder

Hailing from Seattle, Himsa have returned with their fourth full length album, Summon In Thunder, their debut offering with metal giants Century Media. Like a crushing blow to the gut, Summon In Thunder delivers melodic yet heavy as a ton of bricks modern thrash that their prior releases didn’t seem to quite deliver.

Johnny Pettibone’s vocal performance here straddles that often fine line of death metal bellow and hardcore shout, and never cheeses out into clean vocal territory. Summon In Thunder also marks the return of guitarist Sammi Curr, which has done nothing but strengthen the guitar attack.

On an inattentive first listen, the songs here could seem a bit samey, though with repeated spins will begin to reveal some differences from track to track, such as “Den of Infamy”, where a slower doom like atmosphere is maintained throughout with bits of melodic lead, the massive crushing breakdown that closes out “Haunter”, the guitar squeals and shredding solo found halfway through “Given In To the Taking”, the hard driving rhythm and memorable riffing of “Hooks as Hands”, or the long slow build of acoustic guitar and leads that eventually gives way to a bombastic thrash riff in the excellent “Skinwalkers”. “Unleash Carnage” also needs to be mentioned as it does just that – an unforgiving two minute assault and battery of the ears that will leave you flat.

Himsa really haven’t done anything to reinvent the wheel here, but it’s a more than competent offering with improved songwriting, excellent memorable axe work throughout, not to mention the top notch production provided by Steve Carter (who did their Courting Tragedy and Disaster album), Devin Townsend producing the vocals, and the ever popular Tue Madsen tweaking knobs for mixing and mastering. Recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
September 18th, 2007

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