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In this age of instant gratification and ‘artist accessibility’ via social media and the internet at large, it must be said that some of our favourite bands are those who still manage to maintain an air of mystery, intentional or not. Of course this has to be backed up by incredible music, perhaps even more so if every other aspect of a band or artist is hiding in the shadows…..
Whether this obtuseness is by design or flaw matters not when it comes to the Newport-based Haast’s Eagled. The simple fact is that ‘II: For Mankind’ is 4 tracks (clocking in near to 1 hour) of some of the most imaginative, plaintive, acerbic and kaleidoscopic doom we have had the pleasure of hearing.
Undulating between monastic contemplation, soaring vocals, titanic riffing, esoteric solos and even exquisitely tasteful doomloungejazz, this is less ‘a journey’ and more a perfectly executed mission of sound.
Of course this is not easy first-time listening, none of the best albums are. However, what we have in our hands here is an album that should go on to be a cult-classic of the underground doom/stoner scene.