Husmanskost is one of those bands that always surprise. When you think that you have listened to everything from every single Metal band on this earth and you think you can’t be shocked by anybody, these Norwegians have managed to surprise us with a good way with the release of their latest EP, Solstice II.
Founded in 2015, this Grindcore trio has released four albums and Solstice is their second EP, showing six short and yet tremendously powerful tracks. You just need to listen to the opener, Existentiality, and see how the brutal guitars of Kai Kofoed and skillful drumming of Niklas Mortensen perfectly complement the sheer insanity that is vocalist John-Åge Olsen’s vocals. The track starts slow and even somewhat mysterious, but then explodes into a madness of chaos, destruction and extreme Grindcore.
With the second track, Stagnation, we get a lot more of that, but I think guitarist Kofoed gets more of a leading role here and I find his riffs to be quite menacing on this particular second. I find it very interesting the small rhythm changes that they do because it completely changes the pace of the song, but they do so with class, which is something a lot of bands in this subgenre don’t know how to do in a proper manner.
I have to say it upfront: Control is Mortensen’s show on drums and he does a phenomenal job here, reminding me a bit to Thrash Metal legend Gene Hoglan in some sections of the song. Control flows extremely well and it has a middle section where they can show off their chops as musicians. As prone as they are to brutality, there is an element of technicality and skill in this band that I find extremely enjoyable and the second part of the song is a testament to that statement of mine.
I really like the guitar work of Scavengers and how it complements to Mortensen’s drumming, but I often find this song to be the weakest of the EP. Perhaps you would have a different opinion than me in that regard. On the other hand, Pain is a quick return to form with Kofoed stealing the show once again on guitar and we also have a few voice effects that make the song stand out from the rest of the EP. It’s an explosion of brutality and Grindcore of the highest order.
The EP ends on a high note with the mighty density of Hubris. I like the fact that the band lowers the pace just a little bit in order to pummel you harder with the riffs; it shows a great understanding of musicianship and it allows you to enjoy the great riffs a lot more. It’s a very interesting song and it gains a lot of value as you give it multiple listens, so that is something that I think makes it even better.
Overall, Solstice II is a very solid EP and a great introduction to what the band is all about. I truly recommend this EP and this band in general because I think they have a lot of positive things going on and their discography has proven to be quite solid.