Sunday 10 April 2016

HOVEN - Mule (Mini-Album Review)

Release date: March 18th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Mule – Tracklisting

1.Dawn Of A New Age 03:26
2.Crooked Eye 05:27
3.Unmade 01:37
4.The Mule Pt 1 02:52
5.The Mule Pt 2 08:58

Band Members:

Cal, Paul, Dan


Hoven are a band from County Durham, North East Of England who have just released their superb debut mini-album – Mule. A blend of Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal with some cool touches of progressive metal appearing here and there.

It's quite a ballsy release as Hoven create sounds you may have heard elsewhere but they do it with such style and confidence you can't but help enjoying the whole volatile atmosphere the mini-album holds over you. One of the strengths of Hoven's music is their use of progressive riffs that brings back memories of Crack The Skye era – Mastodon with a few touches of NWOBHM.

I think all 3 band members all share lead vocal duties as it's very hard to tell who is the lead singer. It doesn't really matter as the vocals are superb through out. One thing I can definitely tell is that the vocals are heavily influenced by Layne Staley especailly on Crooked Eye. A progressive Sludge/Stoner/Grunge kind of song that has a hell of a lot going for it.

Mule is slightly let down by some amateurish production values at times but that's my only complaint as Hoven created an excellent record to showcase their talents. The standout song has to be the two part 11 minute title track – The Mule – that allows the band to show the world what they really can do when they put their minds to it. A progressive sludge metal journey that once again pays homage to Alice In Chains. Hoven include a cool subtle psychedelic vibe that I like to hear more of on future releases.

The mini-album may last only for 19 minutes but Hoven include a lot of great ideas and riffs for you to check out. Apparently these guys have plans to record their full length debut album. On this evidence, I will be looking forward to see how the band progress their sound on a full length record.

Until then enjoy this fine slice of Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal. Mule is a superb release. Check this out now....

Words by Steve Howe