15 Nov 2022 - Simon
Metal | dunk!Records | Release date: 30 Sep 2022
Huracán unleash an album of restless propulsion which sweeps you up in its grandeur!
I talk a lot about genres and labels in my reviews, it may come across as repetitive but there are so many discussions to be had around them that like a sailor to a siren’s song, it’s impossible for me to resist their lure. I love the fact that someone can listen to a record and label it as, say, Post-Rock and someone else can listen to that same album and think, this is nothing like Post-Rock, it sounds more like Contemporary Classical (now there is an oxymoron I adore!) - and the thing is, there really is no right or wrong answer to this debate either, that’s why it’s great!
Anyhoo, the reason why I brought genres and labels up is that today’s album We Are Very Happy from the Ghent, Belgium-based band Huracán has been described as Post Metal (the band are on dunk!Records which is usually a big clue after all). However, to my ears that label doesn’t really fit what they are doing (although I can see why they have been labelled thusly) as their brand of heavy music is much more driving and purposeful in its demeanour. It hews closer to traditional metal, even groove metal in places, and ok, I’ll admit, it touches on lots of genres of metal and is all the better for it.
The opening double salvo of “We Are Very Happy” and “Dobermann Multiverse” are quite similar in their approach with both utilising that driving propulsive rhythm section to great effect, in fact the first song reminds me almost of Muse in that it’s got that same air of theatricality and bombast to it that Muse are renowned for. (I can hear the cries of incredulity from here - “It sounds nothing like Muse!”) The big difference here though is that Huracán make really good use of their secret weapon which is the dual vocalists of Christophe Willie and Tijs De Langhe. Their vocals are magnificent. Over the course of the album, they morph from gentle sung sections to terrifying screams and back round to tremendous falsetto parts, they are what sets this album apart from others of its ilk.
The next couple of songs “Before I Was Born” and “Sky Burial” veer off the path sign-posted ‘driving melody’ and take a turn into much darker territory. The bones of that driving rhythm section are still there but stretched over that skeleton are more forceful, thrashy guitars and greater use of screamed vocals. There are quite a few more surprises lurking in this album, the lashing of Psychedelic Doom threaded through “Bruises” and the bouncy, almost grooving, lifeblood of “Bending Trees”. Even with all of the variation on show, the DNA of the band’s sound remains intact throughout the whole album, that driving propulsive sound which I’ve been bleating about so much really does form the nucleus of this album.
To sum up, this a great album: it offers up on a platter various nibbles of genres into which any hungry metal fan can feast. The dual vocals are simply brilliant but there really is a lot to like about this album away when you step from that though, give it a try.