Magnetic Eye Records
Released: October 27, 2023
Last month, stoner metal band HOWLING GIANT released their third full length album, Glass Future. While stoner rock and metal hasn’t exactly been my genre of choice through the years of my musical discovery journey, there are a lot of elements I can appreciate musically.
I also feel the need to point out that on the first listen of this record, I immediately thought of my friend John Gist of Vegas Rock Revolution and went to see if these guys had worked with him before, or if they had interacted with each other at some point. They have- and I’m not surprised about that at all. Howling Giant are 10000% right up the Vegas Rock Revolution/Desert Rock alley.
What I am actually surprised about is that I hadn’t heard the band before, given my time working with Mr. Gist, and the fact that we have an interview and a past album review done by Stephy here on the site.
At any rate, I’m on spin two or three of Glass Future at the time of this writing. With each listen I’m finding a different element to grasp onto. While I’m not especially a fan of reverb’d harmony vocals, I do love the overall mix, heavy guitars and blistering solos. The intro to track number six, which holds the same name as the album is probably one of my favorites. I found myself really connecting with the instrumental/solo towards the end of that song. A feeling of calmness and appreciation that I could easily get lost within. – I honestly felt this way about most of this album on a musical level.
The end track, “There’s Time Now” almost perfectly ends the album in both tone and overall emotion. Stephy related these guys to the likes of Black Sabbath and Ghost- and while I could easily see the similarities and general inspiration from those bands, I actually caught more of the slower Led Zeppelin vibes that you hear in the ever popular Stairway to Heaven and more dark toned tracks like Kashmir, or even the guitar riffs and solos that you hear in Deep Purple’s Child in Time. Essentially I hear a lot of more modern takes on what you hear in a lot of different 70’s hard rock. And honestly, I’m not mad at that. I grew up listening to that sound and it always ignites happy feelings on my end.
I don’t like to rate records really, but if I had to this would be a solid ⅘ for me, just because I’m not crazy about the vocals, although they became easier to listen to the more times I listened to the album. But the arrangements and overal vibes of the music are definitely what I enjoyed the most here!
Howling Giant Promotional photo by Mollie Crowe