Torrid Husk: Caesious

Torrid Husk’s Caesious has every marking of mundane, and it doesn’t really make an effort to hide the fact.  The illegible, tree-like logo, the white, snowy, atmospheric artwork, it all screams ‘Weakling’, and you assume you’re most likely in for a treat of overrated black metal made by people who shouldn’t be anywhere near black metal that is later called the greatest black metal release ever made but you still can’t figure out why.  We are all susceptible to stereotypes and preconceived notions, like it or not, but it’s good to be proven wrong, oh so good, and if it were on a daily basis us here at Deaf Sparrow would be happier more often.  Here, in Caesious, is an example of being proven wrong and turning oneself into a flagellant until the awful sin of stereotyping is expunged, at least figuratively speaking, because that crap would hurt something awful.  Torrid Husk plays true West Virginian black metal.  And we’re not being farcical, we’re being serious, because they’ve just defined what it should sound like, they have become the grandfathers of a movement soon to be worshiped throughout the mountainous splendor of that state.  Caesious is only three tracks long, but it’s the longest three tracks of your life because you’ll be listening to them so many damn times.  Excellent, high-quality, classic black metal right here.



You can check out two of the tracks up there yourself, and go through the preorder while you’re at it if you want the other because it’s more than worth it.  Supposedly this was recorded in a ‘cabin in the woods’, and hearing it we would probably add to that ‘while sudden snow and ice locked everyone inside until they had to eat each other’.  Caesious opens with “Cut with Rain”, and a few brief moments of environmental atmosphere, and then Torrid Husk breaks forth and lays you on the floor, and then continues that for the rest of it.  The chords are spun and weaved until their fingers fall off and the singing goes from throaty rasps to absolutely evil lows.  The lower-end vocals in this one are particularly surprising, reminiscent of Portal’s ‘The Curator’ at times, with this deep, rumbling depth probably consists of more viscera than throat, stuff that’s so low he has to be singing from his feet.  They’re so incredibly evil in level they prove how important proper low delivery can be to atmosphere.  Whether or not it’s an inborn talent of manlier vocal chords we can’t say, but it’s there regardless, just listen to the first minute or so of the second track when you will and do buy it.  God damn, what pit of evil did they pull this guy out of?  Dude pulls out low rumbles that freeze your heart over.


In terms of the general musical feel, the songs of Caesious are largely built on expansive chording via heavy tremolo, but Torrid Husk goes from blistering speed to acoustic depression effortlessly, and also changes tempo at times with seamless quality.  The drummer is insanely fast on this one, the bass clean, yeah, it’s practically got everything classic about good black metal you’d need and expect.  Classic is what this is all about, but not the garage band type, or the mommy’s house type, there’s production here, it’s raw sure, but it’s not raw to the point of pretending that’s what makes it cool.  What’s amazing is that Torrid Husk is able to keep your attention with such a fairly classical approach, because most bands in black metal fail at this endlessly.  There’s a vein growing in black metal today, the so-called ‘shoegaze’ movement, which has produced some stellar bands.  The idea is simple, what can we do next with the genre they ask?  So doing the classical thing can be risky, because having already been done you can only do it mediocre with the rest of the clowns, or you can do it right.  Torrid Husk have done the latter here.  Devastating, spectacular, classic black metal right here folks.  Don’t come into it expecting anything new or unique, you’re in this one for the sound, the memories, and the holy insert expletive this is awesome.  Very reminiscent of Unlord and similar acts, but it deserves to be defined on its own.


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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Torrid Husk: Caesious
Grimoire Records
4.5 / 5