When I first downloabought the new Himsa record, I can't lie, I had really low expectations for it. I'm not a big fan of metalcore, and I've never liked anything by Himsa I've heard in the past.
To my surprise, within the first couple tracks, I found myself quite entertained. Himsa really bring nothing new to the table at all, but I couldn't help but find some fun in the metal guitar licks and hardcore delivery. I almost felt rather guilty. Finding some enjoyment in a rather unimaginative metalcore offering is not a typical response from the mind of Sean Patrick Thomas. Still songs like "Dominion" and "Rain to the Sound of Panic" have their initial charm, and at first, the record actually sounds redemeemable.
But brother, absolution was on its way. My enjoyment of the Courting Tragedy and Disaster was limited to the first couple tracks. The complete lacking of variety kills the record. By track #5 I began to lose my ability to see color and later passed out. I woke up halfway through the album's 9th cut, "Scars in the Landscape", but only to hear that repetition induced boredom had not ceased. The album seemed a lot longer than it actually is, and that's not a good thing in this case. You can only take one sound so far, and Himsa attempt to take it about 740 miles past the limit. Not to say that the first few songs are a huge leap in quality above tracks like "Loveless and Goodbye" or "Sense of Passings", sure, I thought they were more fun, but that was mainly because I wasn't yet exposed to the last 3/4 of the record that move to repeat and repeat. After hearing the whole record, even the first songs that I did like a bit lost began to lose their value, seeing as how they themselves aren't really any different than the rest of the record.
Himsa provide some impressive guitar licks and some good ol' fun, but there SS Minnow of quality is lost in a sea of repetition and derivation. I'd certainly take Himsa over most metalcore acts these days, but I still can't wholeheartedly put myself behind them and say "this is a good band". I can probably take any song on this record and find enjoyment in it if I listen to just that song, but as a full record, the songs just don't hold up. All is not lost for the Seattle security guards, though. They are certainly a band with some technical ability, and they obviously have it in their veins to put some fun in their songs. If they can throw some variety into the mix, they could make a good record, instead of a mediocre one. If you want some good metalcore with a bit more imagination, pick up an early Cave In record.