The best albums take time to settle in. It’s always been the case. If you want to create a flash in the pan effort and fizzle out of people’s heads as soon as you arrived, then that’s your decision. If you really want to know how to make an album last, take heed of Haast’s Eagled. The second effort from the band is 4 tracks, just under an hour in length and filled with as many doom-fuelled changes of pace as you can imagine. Though not the most comfortable of listens at first, given the space to breathe, something very special unfolds.
At times journeying into corners not even Black Sabbath dared to tread, the band bash at their instruments with soulful glee at the evil they generate. Opener ‘Phaaz Bhonghi’ ripples with darkened thuds of ear-shattering noise while ‘The Uncle’ grips the throat and twists with disturbed vocal breaks and down tuned battery. It’s 19-minute epic ‘Zoltar’ that is the true triumph here though. Soothing piano melts into beautifully quivering guitars and delicate vocals before plummeting into thick slabs of groove and heaviness and then straight back to it’s calming origins, sax solo et al. It’s a treat for the senses, being pulled from such a state of security into vulnerability and back again and it’s one that gets more and more intense with each agonizingly gorgeous listen.
There’s no other way to see it; ‘II: For Mankind’ is nothing short of mesmerising. At first a brash, unrestrained goliath of sound, it transforms into a contorting ball of brilliance given the due care and respect it deserves. As darkly beautiful as it is unrelentingly destructive, Haast’s Eagled have put together 4 masterstrokes of doom that can turn your blood to ice as quickly as it can make you feel like you are sitting on the verge of hell itself.
’II: For Mankind’ by Haast’s Eagled is out now on Holy Roar Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)