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HOWLING THEIR WAY TO THE TOPOne of the more talked about metal bands at this year’s SXSW festival were Rhode Island doomsters Howl. The chatter wasn’t just because the band seemed to be playing at every event I attended or because of their awesome artwork, but because this four-piece of furious, bone-crushing, head-splitting doom really seem to be turning heads in underground metal circles and, it turns out, beyond.

At Thursday’s MetalSucks-sponsored Full Metal Texas show an exasperated singer/guitarist Vincent Hausman exclaimed “Am I the only one who’s drunk this early in the day?” before ringing in another steamroller of a song with one of the most firey performances I’ve seen the band muster to date. The beauty of Full Metal Texas was that it wasn’t an official SXSW-sanctioned event, meaning locals could easily attend (for free!) without the hassle of worrying about official badges or wristbands. The diverse bill, which also featured “scene” bands like Iwrestledabearonce and Born of Osiris, exposed bands like Howl to a wider audience than they might otherwise have played to, and wouldn’t ya know it I saw a lot of “scene” kids really getting into Howl. Everyone wins.

Howl’s new album Full of Hell is coming via Relapse on May 11th. Get a taste of it with their new song “Asherah/Jezebel,” currently streaming on their MySpace page.


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