Reviews Himsa Ground Breaking Ceremony

Himsa

Ground Breaking Ceremony


Have you ever had one of those records that you were so extremely excited for that the anticipation was eating at you and you counted down the days until it finally showed up in your mailbox, and, upon receiving said album, you immediately tossed in or on your stereo (regardless of the format that you are listening to the music) only for you to get a couple of songs into the whole thing and just be so incredibly disgusted (I mean way beyond disappointed) that you stopped playing this hotly anticipated record and swear it off tight then and there?

Ground Breaking Ceremony was one of several records that this has happened to me over the course my lifetime, and explaining just how deep my disappointment was when I first heard the debut album from Himsa is difficult to accomplish for two reasons (one being that this occurrence happened more than 10 years ago and my recollection has been dulled by time, and two, the impact of the experience has been softened after finally “getting” the album); but I can frame this picture (if you will) by stating that following up their self titled EP (which I still think is the best thing that the band ever did) with this album was tough for me to handle at that particular point in time, and I consistently compared Ground Breaking Ceremony to that EP every time that I tried listening until the record finally clicked with me.

Here is an album that is diverse and fractured to the point where someone listening to it might feel like the whole record is an unfocused collection of songs (this is how I felt upon first hearing Ground Breaking Ceremony and in subsequent listens the effect was quite the same) while giving the album some time and listening to it in order to give the songs the chance to sink in and make their subtle points, and perhaps that is the overall charm and connecting tissue of Ground Breaking Ceremony; Himsa play fast and slow, discordant and melodic, all the while different vocals come out at you from all over the place in almost every song. Listen to The huge riffs of “Another Version Of The Twist” along with the myriad of voices that you hear in the song and how well they mesh together to make a heavy as hell song; then check out the noise-y slow crunch of the title track as it slowly closes in around you towards the end in a real claustrophobic way, and when you hear “Carrier” (in all its noise-y and almost metal glory rooted to a definite punk rock beat), the album hits its stride as Himsa takes lots of sonic chances and makes them work as few other bands ever do.

Just when I finally understood what Himsa was doing with its music on Ground Breaking Ceremony, they did an absolute about face and took the band into something else entirely (a completely different story altogether); but at least this album is a testament to how truly unique that the band was and how ambitious they were musically in attempting to create something new (while still landing squarely amidst their punk and hardcore roots), and if you do not believe me, spend some time with this Himsa album because it just might grab you the same way it eventually did to me. Ground Breaking Ceremony is an unsung and often overlooked classic of the Revelation catalog.

8.0 / 10Bob
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Revelation

1999

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