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Tarantula Hawk - Tarantula Hawk CD (album) cover


Tarantula Hawk


Experimental/Post Metal

3.91 | 4 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars TARANTULA HAWK was a heavy progressive rock / metal band from San Diego, CA that was formed in 1998 when bassist Rob Morrison, drummer and guitarist Dave Warshaw, keyboardist and guitarist Dylan Scharf and bassist Braden Diotte got together after having moved from different parts of the US. The band spent fourth months crafting their unique take on mixing psychedelic space rock and atmospheric ambience with progressive post-metal gusto. They released two untitled albums, one in 2000 and the next one in 2002. This first album features all four members while the second found Rob Morrison quitting the band to head back to Seattle. While the band members would all pick up secondary roles on album #2, on this one the original four members crank out heavy psychedelic jams that has even been referred to as psychedelic death prog. While most resources list this album as having six tracks with six different titles, my particular copy has the entire album as untitled with only one very long track but it's apparent that individual tracks were probably the desired format as the jams change it up into newly constructed compositions exactly when the corresponding times elapse.

Entirely instrumental, TARANTULA HAWK begins their tracks with slowly creeping gloomy atmospheric build ups before busting loose with heavy guitar riffs, repetitive yet forceful bass grooves and bombastic percussion outbursts that alternate with less energetic dreamier passages which add new riffs and fills along the way. There are also many samples including sounds of insects and various machines. There is a dirty gloomy industrial feel to the whole thing as well and feels as detached from reality as the album cover conveys as if we were jettisoned into a snarling desert storm and in the middle of it all a soundtrack appears creating enough din to burst through the atmospheric turbulence. While i would consider TARANTULA HAWK to be heavy psychedelic rock, they add just enough distorted gusto to enter into metal territory at the loudest points of the album.

While not numerous in number, TARANTULA HAWK is joined in a similar sound with other acts such as Yeti, Upsilon Acrux and Dysrhythmia which offer the most psychedelic organ features of progressive rock while adding the extra element of heavy metal riffing that offers a rare hybrid that could easily be tagged psychedelic metal. Despite the heavier riffing, the music will bring a darker version of Goblin or other horror movie soundtrack type sounds from the vaults of the prog rock universe with the extra elements of sampling that adds that can remind of fellow label mates Neurosis at times. Some tracks even have a distinct nod to Pink Floyd at their heaviest 70s sound. Despite the heavy jamming segments which dominate the album there are also pure dark ambient passages that catapult the listener into utterly bleak sonicscapes that deliver true otherworldly effects. This debut TARANTULA HAWK delivers an excellent blend of psychedelic jamming with the intensity of metal all the while delivering the dark wave dungeon effect in healthy doses. One of those albums if you like scary and detached music that is freaky as hell but in a dark dreary way. Personally i love this kind of stuff.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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