Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hëssler-Skeleton Crew


It's doesn't seem as if it was all that long ago, but it has actually been five and a half years since Hëssler released it's debut EP, "Bad Blood". Formed in 2008 and once lead by painter, actress, and former model Lariyah Daniels, Hëssler started out in life as a female-fronted traditional heavy metal/hard rock outfit and actively stuck to that formula up until 2014's "Ghost Dance". Following the departure of lead singer Jessica Marie Espinoza (of Jessikill fame), Hëssler decided to cut it's loses and just let band member Igz Kincaid (guitars) handle the vocals. Obviously the EP "Skeleton Crew" is the end result of that equation and given the departure of not just Jessica, but two other band-mates (thus leaving the pair of Igz Kincaid and Erik Michael as the only original members of this Chicago, Illinois-based band) it is pretty clear why choose that title! With Igz Kincaid now on guitar and lead vocals and one-time bassist Erik Michael swapping in his four string instrument for a six string one, Hëssler has not only lost some weight line-up wise, but they have stripped their sound down to the bare essentials. Just released back on Nov 17th, "Skeleton Crew" is a straight, no chasers, artificial ingredients, or BS(!) heavy fucking metal recording with a mean streak a mile long! For better or worse (and I'd argue for the better!) this hard & heavy band has never sounded this alive or...well, real. Like the best garage metal bands out there, Hëssler has crammed years worth of frustration and disappointment into a tight package that is just screaming to be played as loud as humanly possible! At just over twenty minutes, "Skeleton Crew" reminds me of the great $5.98 EP by Metallica. Not sound-wise mind you, but vibe-wise. Devoid of any pretentious nonsense, Hëssler's short but sweet EP is the heartfelt gift of true Chicago heavy metal from a talented band that has been around the block a time or two and shed way more than it's fair share of blood, sweat, and tears. As for who joined Igz Kincaid and Erik Michael in the studio for this EP? That would be drummer Tom Weirzbicky would be With Erik and Igz splitting bass duties, Tom keeps everything in check and bashes the unholy hell out of his kit! God only knows where this wicked musician has been hiding out, but damn, if he doesn't fit in perfectly with the other two guys in Hëssler then I need my hearing checked! This impressive EP is all the better thanks to Tom and seeing as both he and bass player Adam Arling are listed as touring members on the band's Facebook page it looks as if this madly-skilled drummer is here to stay! Hopefully the same can be said of Hëssler as a whole because I love the new direction of this straight-up metal band. That, and Hëssler has come too far to give up now! 

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