Whilst the pandemic has been frustrating for artists who rely on touring for income and marketing, it has also bred plenty of creativity. One of the acts to emerge from this creative vortex is GUHTS from New York City, and we are very excited to premiere their crushing new single “Handless Maiden”. A gruelling post-metal march, the guitars drawing from the crustier, sludgier side of the genre, this massive track paints a picture of why they are a band to keep an eye on.
GUHTS was created when guitarist Scott Prater realised that the music he was writing for his doom band Witchkiss exceeded the expectations of the sluggish, psychedelic assault that the genre is famous for. GUHTS really escalates their sound to that of something more comparable to ISIS rather than Subrosa. Pulling in his wife Amber Burns for vocal duties, he also recruited from bands like Bask and Black Mountain Hunger; the band are currently after a full-time drummer.
“Handless Maiden” reminds me a lot of some of Russian Circles‘ songs where they start loud and end even louder. Amber’s vocals kick in after a sustained period of gruelling riffs, adding a great extra layer that floats above the guitars and helps amplify their heaviness. If you switch between Witchkiss and GUHTS you’ll immediately appreciate the crisper production, which helps to sell this as a complete product and not just a side-project. The guitar tones are exceptionally gnarly, and by the bands own admission, very much like some of the heaviest Deftones tracks. Think Diamond Eyes but with plentiful savagery.
Vocalist Amber Burns had the following to say about the song:
‘“Handless Maiden” is a story I read in the book “WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.DThis book is my personal bible, no matter how many times I read these stories, I always learn something new about myself.Handless Maiden is a story that reminds me that no matter how far down the “approved collective way of thinking takes me”, like once long ago I believed that giving up my art, little pieces of myself, a life of creating, basically surrendering my instincts & intuition would make me a “good mother” a “good wife” I lost myself completely for a “grotesque financial marriage.”Handless Maiden reminds me: we can master many descents into the underground forest, the underground world of female knowing, a place that lives way below ego… with each descent, caused by pain, loss, heartache, we dive deeper & deeper and come back up even stronger & wiser connected to our intuition and connected to the wild woman that lives inside each and everyone one of us.It reminds me it’s ok to go down into the “La Selva Subterranea” over & over, it will be ok.I remember my soul is steel, not glass.’
Blood Feather, the debut EP from GUHTS, drops August 6, with the band self-releasing the record. Having checked out the full record from the EPK, I can tell you now that you are into a treat if you are looking for forlorn post-metal this summer.