LONGHOUSE - II: Vanishing
October 19, 2017, a year ago
Two thumbs up to Ottawa’s Longhouse for taking on Canadian indigenous issues, including the residential-school legacy, here on their second full-length, II: Vanishing. And the music is appropriately no-hope, the band’s doom/post-metal conveying a strong atmosphere to go along with the lyrical content. Opener “Hunter’s Moon” takes a long time to get going, as all first songs on post-metal albums do, but, man, does it ever pack a punch, the band just doing everything absolutely right in terms of sonics and ebbs and flows. It doesn’t get dull for a second, which is huge praise for the genre.
“Vanishing” gets a bit more upbeat, the band hitting the mid-tempo doom zone with much skill, laying down vaguely southern riffs with power. “Blood And Stone” has some of the best riffing of the album, evocative and moving, but totally metal all at once. Excellent. However, the album highlight is the haunting “No Name, No Marker”, eight minutes of powerful, intense, atmospheric doom, with just the right amount of melody. The song takes you places, as good doom should, the chilling lyrics adding to the oppressiveness of it all. I’m not sold on the high-pitched screamed vocals: they don’t have the same punch the music does, and throughout the album they hold things back a bit. Still, the music is powerful enough to overcome that shortcoming on an otherwise fantastic album.