Saturday 21 August 2021

LowFlyingHawks - FUYU (Album Review)

Release Date: August 27th 2021. Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

FUYU - Tracklisting


2.Subatomic Sphere 





7.Solar Wind

8.Caustic Wing

9.Winter Star



EHA – vocals, guitars

AAL – guitars, backing vocals

Dale Crover – drums

Trevor Dunn – bass

Guest musicians

Violins: Martha Domínguez Henkel, Luis Sergio Hernández

Cellos: Luz del Carmen Pastor y Valentín Mirkov

Opera singer: Martha Domínguez Henkel


Doomgaze Rockers LowFlyingHawks return with their 3rd album FUYU and their first release in two years. EHA and AAL are the creative masterminds behind the band but they are joined again by their regular rhythm section with Dale Crover (The Melvins) on Drums and Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle) on Bass who have appeared on their previous releases. 

FUYU concludes the musical trilogy they started with Kōfuku back in Feb 2016 and it seems Lowfliyinghawks have come full circle with this release as they bring some of that celebrated album’s dark sound to this record and matching it with the proggier sludgy themes of 2017’s Genkaku. FUYU sees LowFlyingHawks have another musical makeover or reinvention of themselves bringing a “StonerGaze” identity to the centre of the album.

The album is always progressive with it’s dark messages and themes that are told through punishing instances of Drone Metal, Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal, Psych Rock and a twisted “Post-Whatever” narrative. The vocals are a mixture of clean vocals, harsh growls, drone chants and eerie distorted twisted vocals that you hear superbly well on the stunning second track - Subatomic Sphere.

FUYU is best to listen to the album as one continuous heavy journey into the darker side of Sludge/Stoner Metal. The music is a mixture of Light and Dark moments. Sometimes I was feeling that certain sections of the record were too “LIGHT” and when will the heavy moments appear. Shame on me for doing that. As I wasn’t listening to or experiencing what LowFlyingHawks were trying to convey with their music. Third song Monster being a prime example. Though with repeated listens I started to understand the song more and more which led to this song becoming one of my favourite parts of the album. There are heavy moments but it’s a more “upbeat” approach from the band and it’s a glorious style of Sludge/Stoner Metal that taps into the euphoric moments of Post-Metal whilst not being that at all.

I didn’t want to do a “song by song” review that I normally do for this album. As it’s a soulful and truly cinematic experience that should be listened to as one whole record split into individual albums. LowFlyingHawks have everything covered under the Sludge/Stoner Metal umbrella whilst bringing different strands of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. It’s primarily a Doomgaze/Stonergaze sound that the band have perfectly crafted over their past 3 releases.

FUYU is not an easy album to listen to and it’s not meant to be. LowFlyingHawks have always released complex sounding records with dark themes and FUYU is no different. FUYU is perhaps their most accessible release but still retaining that classic LFH element for longtime fans to be fully on board with.

The music as usual is first rate from everyone connected with the record and impresses the most when they bring an orchestral theme, flow and sound to the album. The lyrics are grounded and completely heartbreaking but LowFlyingHawks still retain a positive and upbeat message from start to finish. 

The final part of the album with Caustic Wing, Winter Star and Nightrider is the best part of the album and one of the most exciting pieces of music that LowFlyingHawks have recorded. Everything is played LOUD and QUIET with a sound that goes across the whole Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal spectrum with trippy vocals, grooves and riffs that remain heartbreakingly original and sonically progressive

Standout songs: Monster, Midnight, FUYU, Caustic Wing and Nighrider.

FUYU is another masterclass from LowFlyingHawks and I’m hoping this isn’t the end of the journey for LowFlyingHawks as they’re one of my favourite underground bands. I want to hear more from the band but if FUYU is the end of the line then what an album to end their journey with. As this is my favourite album from them and definitely perhaps of the best records I’ve heard this year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Magnetic Eye Records for the promo.

FUYu will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Magnetic Eye Records from August 27th 2021.

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