Monday, May 28, 2012

Serious Beak: Huxwhukw (2011)


I really wasn't going to listen to Serious Beak's Huxwhukw. Mostly, that's because their band name is a little on the dumb side. But a combination of factors changed my mind. Awesome cover art, obscure mythology, and pay-what-you-want price were some. More importantly, one of the band members called me a fuckwit, but he did it in such a way so that it left doubt as to whether it was really intended as an insult. (I appreciate cleverness, even at my own expense.)

The band is an instrumental group combining elements of Intronaut, Devin Townsend, and Animals as Leaders, among others. Based on that sentence alone, you can probably decide whether you'll like this, but the latter comparison bears further explanation.

Is this djent? Like the clever insult, it's a tough call. Mostly, but not completely, they avoid the djent chords, which seem to be the defining characteristic of the genre. But they fit in every other way. They are all-instrumental, like many of the bands in that genre. They have some of the same strange rhythms. They have the same whimsical approach to songwriting. So, on balance, it's at least got one foot in djent.

The musicianship is unquestionable as well. Unlike the soulless shred of old-timey wankers like Malmsteen or Kuprij, this does have a personality. However, the attitude makes it come off as metal played by musicians who don't respect metal. Maybe that's just my imagination. Maybe not.

The Verdict: If Townsend and Abasi are your heroes, by all means, check this out. It is decidedly much better than any of the pure djent records I've ever heard, but still seems vaguely metal-sacrilegious. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. 1.5/5? Harsher than I expected. Thanks for bringing this amazing cover art back to my screen :) Likely the only reason for it to be there, sadly.

  2. It's definitely not FMA-approved material. I'm sure Heavy Blog Is Heavy and MetalSucks are going apeshit for it. I really love that art, though. You should check out some of the artist's other work.