Barishi – Endless Howl (Self Released)

Tuesday, 3rd February 2015
Rating: 8/10

Already a favorite for many on the Dead Rhetoric staff (main editor David E. Gehlke gushing about their heavier progressive metal sound on their self-titled debut album), Brattleboro, Vermont’s Barishi are a regular mainstay on the New England touring circuit – so their newest offering Endless Howl gives listeners four more slices of their eclectic, yet remarkably addictive output. Combining a wide swath of influences from Opeth and The Mars Volta to The Dillinger Escape Plan and even extreme doom to black nuances, you never know what type of sonic assault they’ll place in the aural space provided.

A jagged Graham Brooks guitar avalanche pulsates against a double bass propelled “In the Hour of the Wolf”, the caustic screams and semi-blackened roar of Sascha Simms sending chills in the air. The band just have a knack for throwing in the right twist and turn and making it fit the Barishi framework – even if it’s a touch Djent-like in the concluding instrumental moments rhythmically for “Smoke from Their Earth” or very doom meets blackened blast oriented on the 5:45 closer “Snakeboat”. The quartet are progressive in the sense of thinking outside the box, combining sub-genres and time changes when you least expect it – but never going overboard as to lose listeners in a technical frantic free for all.

Dealing with all four seasons and being in the woods naturally influences their multi-pronged outlook on music. Drummer Dylan Blake tackles simpler, repetitive passages like the opening of “Snakeboat” with as much passion as the snare/kick/ cymbal time signature manipulations throughout the mountain size musical cliff dives for the title cut, while bassist Jonathan Kelley serves and volleys bottom end antics that keep Barishi on track and energetic all the same.

At 18 minutes, Endless Howl gives the uninitiated enough of a sample to become part of the Barishi culture, and hopefully convert more to this potent act as the band gears up for more touring (supporting Felix Martin for the month of February to start).

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