The fact that punk/hardcore music has been heavily rooted in anti-establishment and pushing back against ‘the Man’ is a well reported phenomenon. Ever since it was birthed in the 70’s, punk music/culture has morphed into many different entities, ranging from the incredibly upbeat and aesthetically pleasing Turnstile to the fusion of powerviolence/beatdown and reggae/jazz-rap as heard in the very politically outspoken Zulu. It has even got to a point where some artists fetishize punk culture and try to make that type of music just to fit in *cough cough Machine Gun Kelly cough cough* – that is as far from the heart of the culture as possibly could be. Anyways, one interesting avenue that punk has traversed is blackened punk, or rather Black ‘n’ Roll. You wouldn’t be farfetched at all to guess that today’s premiere, Haust‘s “Left to Die”, is exactly that.
I’ll be upfront to say that this niche genre is not something that I am not an expert in, although I am fully aware of its existence; the first band that comes to mind within this style is Kvelertak. That band didn’t just come out of nowhere, as they clearly had to have drawn inspiration from somewhere. One particular band that melded the world of black metal with that of punk, eventually inspiring the likes of Kvelertak and many others, are known as Haust. Black ‘n’ Roll wouldn’t be what it is today without Haust, as their 2008 release paved the way for this blisteringly off-kilter take on punk. After a few records, the band has reunited with the original lineup and are set to release their comeback record, Negative Music on April 19 through Fysisk Format.
Funny I mention Kvelertak as their vocalist, Ivar Nikolaisen, features on the lead single for Negative Music. Feel free to check that out here.
With just the brief moment of feedback that opens up “Left to Die”, you can just tell that this is going to be gritty as all hell. It has a raucous attitude similar to what you’d heard from Motörhead (canonically proto-punk) with razor sharp guitar tremolos that cut through the mix like daggers. It continues the ‘horror punk’ vibe that previous single “Dead Ringer” aimed for; this particular track was released on Halloween naturally. Haust‘s vocalist, Vebjørn, states that ‘the song is about fear and disgust for double standards in society. Similar to the old Haust song “Anti-Reproductive”, it paints a dark and icy Norway.’ Admittedly the unique vocal style heard here take a little getting used to, but once you let yourself get immersed in the raw energy captured in the music, you’ll start to appreciate the intensity that it provides. I can’t really imagine any other vocal style that better suits the music here.
If you didn’t already have adrenaline pumping through your circulation for whatever reason, you most certainly do now after having been exposed to the legendary Haust. Their music most certainly isn’t for everyone, but their rad tunes are definitely a vibe as the Gen Z’ers would call it. I can say is that this is definitely not your dad’s type of rock ‘n’ roll. Keep on the lookout for more singles to possibly come in anticipation of Negative Music‘s release on April 19. Swing by their socials (Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp) and give a follow as it is just a painless click after all.