Serial Hawk - Searching for Light

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2015-12-28

Some things in life have a built-in expiration date and musical genres are no exception. However, somehow the throw-back sludge that has come to define modern ’stoner rock’ has managed to build and sustain a modest audience for decades now. Where innovation usually involves auto-tune or a drum machine at some point or another, today’s new wave of underground (albeit, only slightly) doom/stoner/metal bands have managed to break new ground by reverently reinventing an already tried and true template.

Brilliantly demonstrating that you usually can judge a book from it’s cover, Serial Hawk’s Searching for Light opens with a single string drone ('Desolate') which perfectly sets the tone for the campy, mid-70’s noir artwork that graces the album cover.  It’s a deceivingly brief respite before the self proclaimed ‘crushingly heavy three piece’ from Seattle, Washington collectively pours into the song, taking listeners on an almost chronological tour through the annals of all things ‘Stoner’ rock during the course of the tracks nine plus minutes.

With an impressive shout/yell approach that immediately recalls Pure Rock Fury era Neil Fallon, Will Bassin does an admirable job of letting the music do the talking, choosing to conservatively sprinkle his paint-peelin’ vocals at just the right points.  Bassist Adam Holbrook and drummer Sean Bulkley lay down a massive foundation, cohesively grounding songs like "Lying in Wait" and "Of Decay" with groove infused swagger that is not often found in the arsenal of your average doom/stoner rock band.

By the time the closing epic title track reaches it’s seventeen minute climax, Serial Hawk have managed to create a full-length album that, while epic in scope, never overstays its welcome, but rather, leaves one wanting more (a feat rarely accomplished by any band this side of the legendary Sleep).

For fans of Kyuss, Sleep, High On Fire and like, I would suggest visiting Serial Hawk’s band camp page to anyone looking for healthy slab of undiscovered ’stoner’ rock.  Searching For Light is a tremendous year end release from a band that embodies all of the best elements of ‘Do It Yourself’, furiously channeling an authentic ‘Doom’ aesthetic through four amazing songs. 

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