It seems to me that when people talk about a band changing their sound or trying new things that it’s always the biggest examples that people go for which are oftentimes featuring the wildest changes. Whether it’s something like Enslaved or Opeth, many point to such bands when we consider what names change their sound for one reason or another, but I’ve always found the slight changes that you can see the evolution of going from one album to the next just as fascinating. The underground is almost purposefully peppered with bands like that, and it’s right up there with the likes of Chasmdweller that Husmanskost has been travelling down that very road with their latest EP being one of their most distinctly different to date.
A line-up change would change the sound of any band no matter how small or massive it is. When you lose an entire third of your act with that leaving member being your vocalist, it’s the perfect time to shake things up when it comes to the very core of your sound. It’s even then, though, that Husmanskost has never felt comfortable sitting in one spot out of a desire to do something different with each release or to challenge themselves to see how well they could execute a new approach or if they could pull it off at all. With a change in vocals and a leaning even slightly more into the realm of death metal while still have those distinct keys from grind, I can’t help but look at the whole of “Sykkelstjæling” and look at it with immense approval for all that it dared to do, all that it pulled off, and how much Husmanskost still managed to sound like themselves despite a sound that some would argue is a real shift from the band’s previous efforts. There are just six tracks to be found within the confines of this voracious album that makes the overall runtime barely scratch under fifteen minutes but it’s in every one of those instances that “Sykkelstjæling” still manages to very much hold its own while many contemporary bands slowly start to sound stale if they don’t at least try something a little new which is something that Husmanskost has already gone out of their way to curb, and I cannot stress enough just how happy I am to see them not only pull it off but absolutely fucking kill it!
So long as they keep moving forward, I really don’t think that any two works from Husmanskost will sound exactly like any that have come before it with the band’s desire to always try something new, no matter how slight, all but apparent every time that they come back around with new material. “Sykkelstjæling” sees the band put in quite a difficult spot with the aforementioned line-up change, but it cannot be overstated just how well they managed to rise above such a challenge to make a real banger of an album that takes virtually everything that they’ve done before, puts a new paint of death metal on top, and does nothing but deliver some real, compelling power.
LISTEN to “Sykkelstjæling” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Husmanskost on Facebook here.