Is it our imagination, or does every other hardcore band wish to throw off their backpacks and transform into an outfit of screaming heavy metal maniacs? HIMSA from Seattle have past associations with the multi-core Revelation Records, but whatever they sounded like then, they certainly are only a couple of steps away from being full-blooded metallurgists now.Clearly they've been reading long and loud from the book of "How To Do Metal the Swedish Way", as is more than evident in the complex riffage of "A Girl In Class" and, in all fairness, ninety-five per cent of "CTAD". But then it is delivered quite often with more panache than many of the upstarts who think it's all about fretboard and no songs — as in the feverishly catchy "Rain To The Sound Of Panic". SLAYER, IRON MAIDEN and AT THE GATES could all potentially sue over some of the riffs and harmonies on here, but what's more likely to be HIMSA's downfall in the short term is the sameness towards the tail end of these eleven songs on offer. As a parting shot, "When Midnight Breaks" is mostly technique without a catchy song to hang it on. Nevertheless, expect great things next time around — not to mention studs and bullet belts.
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