Halmos started out as a two piece stoner doom band, Corey Briley (guitar, voc.) and Travis Anderson (drums), in 2011 from Atlanta/Georgia/USA. They released an EP “Vicious Cycle” (2012). Later the band doubled their number of members with Melanie Maher (bass) and Casey Yarbrough (guitar - also in the almighty Order Of The Owl !)... With this line-up they recorded last month their first full length album EXIST.
The album contains four new songs and all five songs of the “Vicious Cycle” EP, but changed and reworked. I think that is a very cool way to say “Hey look, we have changed, we are two more people in the band”.
The nine songs of EXIST are basically heavy, slow, hammering rhythms combined with mostly bellowing vocals and crushing sludgy riffs merging with psychedelic fuzzed stoner sounds. That’s about all that’s happening here. All is kept quite simple in a good way. There’s nothing missing. Solid songs tightly written and arranged come together with great drum work, a distinctive driving bass sound, warm thick fuzzy guitars and a rather peculiar way of using vocals.
The most amazing and enjoyable feature of the album though is the musicians’ enormous ability to play off each other. It seems to refine every single riff and makes the album a brilliant gem.
My faves are “Excursion Into Chaos” (cool drum intro), “The Polemic Prophet” (crawling slowness & sped up ending) and “To Climb the Mount” (drums & riffs), “The Highest Step” (the space trip).
words by Ulla Roschat