Now feels like the perfect time for Howlin’ Anton Bleak to deliver his debut album, Anton is already known for his time as the lead singer of Bleak who have already released two albums in their own right, making Anton well known to the process of making music within a group. Now he has taken the brave steps to undertake his own project but with the help of a number of acclaimed musical friends and collaborators.
Howlin’ Anton states that his time spent traveling and playing across the heartlands of America have left an imprint on this album, He has also picked up some impressive nicknames along the way, as he has been spoken of as “the voice of death blues this side of the Mississippi”.
‘Great Satan rising’ is the first track of the album and it grabs your attention right from the start, the musical instrumentals and guitar tones painting a picture for Howlin’ Anton’s rustic voice conveys a story wrapped in a flair of country style. ‘Great Satan rising’ is like drinking a shot of whiskey on at the beginning of a night out, a perfect warmer to take you on a journey.
Don’t close your eyes when the second track ‘Cowboy from hell’ arrives, it is haunting and eerie like walking into a fortune teller's tent at a local fair. It's an acoustic track which gives you a sense of what Rammstein might sound like at a stripped back gig.
Getting halfway through this album you can’t help but still feel gripped by it, when ‘Lost highway’ comes along you are drawn in by the changes of direction and layers within the tracks that have already been. The best two tracks of the album come one after the other with ‘London Waltz’ and ‘On the 23rd floor’, they shine a light on the ability of this collection to tell a story whilst displaying a ramping up the sound around the storytelling.
When ‘Become the Sun’ arrives on the scene at track seven you get a sense this album is a bit of a shape shifter, with another new direction of a black, bleak and crazy electrio metal rock track. At this point you have to ask yourself whether this collection of music would have been better split into two more cohesive EPs instead of the chopping and changing album it is, but when we come to the end of the album with ‘Yenisey’ and ‘My precious Lily’, you come full circle where we started with more country music and lyrics to keep telling the story Howlin’ Anton has inside of him, this is where the album is strongest and we’re glad to have found the sound by the end.
Written By Kess Anthony