Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact email@example.com.
The essence of Oakland's Wild Hunt could summed up thusly: doomy, progressive metal that perches in the cerebral cortex during a waking nightmare. A ghoulish nightmare from which you don't necessary wish to wake. It's black magic behind fluttering eyelids.
Along with more traditional metal riffs, there are drawn-out, heavy breakdowns that lend easily to slow, deliberate head banging, blended with modern hypnotic ambiance that gives it that dream-like quality. It doesn't hurt that drummer-vocalist Harland Burkhart sounds like he's growling underwater. I've seen Enslaved noted as a point of reference here, and agree with that assessment.
So now you need to hear it, right? Well, you've chased it down and speared it. The quartet's debut album, Before the Plane of Angles, which was mixed by Laudanum's Salvador Raya and mastered by Justin Weis (Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra), is out now on Kemado. And the album release show is this weekend at El Rio.
I caught up with the Wild Hunt in that unsettling space between wake and sleep. Here's what Burkhart had to say:
Band name origin: "Wild Hunt" refers to the ancient European myth of a phantasmal cavalcade of dead folks seen madly flying through the sky, usually around Yuletide. There are a variety of different versions of the legend; some believe the Norse god Odin leads the pack, others believe King Arthur, others believe Ronald McDonald.
Band motto: You got fourteen cent?
Description of sound in 10 words or less: Heavy, melodic, dreamlike. At times jarring, at times tranquil.
Instrumentation: Two guitarists, one bassist, one drummer/vocalist.
Most recent release: Before the Plane of Angles (Kemado Records, 2012)
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: Being situated in such a hotbed of creative activity.
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: Paying rent.
First album purchased: For me, possibly Oingo Boingo, Only a Lad.
Most recent album purchased/downloaded: Allseits, Hel.
Favorite local eatery and dish: Southie has become my lunchtime destination. That dang fried rock shrimp sandwich has changed my life, tell you what.