Longhouse – II: Vanishing

The second full length of Longhouse, doom metal band from Ottawa, is the most realistic picture of what is actually the musical scene of today. This trio led by Josh Cayer proposes a doom of excellent level, never predictable and with different veins ranging from sludge to the most traditional version of the genre, yet does not have the notoriety it deserves, probably crushed by the floods of material of a much lower level, but with higher visibility, placed daily on a hyper-saturated market; after all, with the music of destiny you can not get to the end of the month and, often, who plays the gratification must find them more within himself rather than in the response of the public. This is what the good Cayer does, being descendant of native Americans, he thinks well to create an unusual union between doom and lyrics imbued with spirituality and respect for nature of which the American Indians are among the few custodians on the planet. The sound of Longhouse does not present any ethnic nuance and winds along five long and beautiful tracks, touching different focal points of the genre, deepened with a typical line-up of three that, together with the aforementioned bassist and singer, also includes the talented Marc Casey on guitar and Mike Hache on drums. It starts, so, from the dissonant and heavy Hunter’s Moon, with which it also hangs out in the parts of post-metal, and that deceptively makes you think of an instrumental track, since the harsh vocals of Cayer enter the scene only in the final part, just the voice could be a point of controversy for lovers of traditional doom, accustomed to voices more stentorian and less snarling: personally, I don’t mind this choice at all, nor should I be misled by what happens in the final track The Vigil, where the clean vocal timbre is successfully exhibited in a much more appropriate context, being the episode undoubtedly more melodic, with a final trespassing into psychedelia, of the entire work. As you can guess, the Longhouse, although in a narrow territory such as doom, shine for their versatility, avoiding stylistic reiteration along all the tracks and also managing with good success to disentangle themselves along important minutes. I have to make a mea culpa for having initially put aside II: Vanishing thinking about a minor work or anyway negligible, but only after some passages in the player its value fully emerged and from this two things can be deduced: the first is that the album needs to be worked well before its assimilation, while the second is that Longhouse are an excellent reality, deserving of the maximum attention from the doom fans.

2017 – Independent