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The new sound of Houwitser - 60%

optimizator, June 14th, 2005

I like first two albums of Houwitser very much. So, when I got their last album I was looking forward to hear brutal, fast, blistering death metal.

This disk contains only eight songs, while none of the other releases contains less than 10 tracks. But the length of the songs was increased: all tracks are 3 or more minutes long. Track 8 -- Hunger for the Feast -- is the longest Houwitser's track at all times.

And what about sound? First of all, they've lost their speed. They are playing slower, much slower than on "Embrace Damnation" or "Death...But not Buried". Their songs are full with slow fragments and this was a big disappointment to me, because I used to know Houwitser as a very fast band. Second, they've lost a lot in their brutality. From the first seconds of previous albums you were overwhelmed by blistering drums, hard guitar sound and strong bass. You won't hear something like this on "Damage Assessment". Their sound has become much more composed. Vocal? Yes, nice growl, but it is not the roar you can hear on the first albums.

Of course there are some new things on this release. The songs have become more various. There is a guitar solo in some songs -- the thing they never did before. Most of the songs contain intros, like on previous releases, but now all intros are dedicated to the one thing -- sounds of war: firing, explosions, screams, din of engines... Very interesting feature.

So the conclusion is obvious: if you are "Embrace Damnation" or "Death...But not Buried" fan you may not like this album. But if you forget about first releases, you will see, that "Damage Assessment" in itself is a good, well-made death metal. And who knows, maybe you will like this new sound of Houwitser.