Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image



Artist: Pist
Label: APF Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 November 2019

APF Records releases Hailz, Pist’s third offering following the Riffology EP in 2014, and Rhythm and Booze in 2015. Pist, hailing from Bury in Lancaster, have previously been described as Stoner Doom – a label they disclaim and have positively moved away from with this outing. The current line-up is Dave Rowlands (vocals), John Nicholson (guitars), Mike Collins (Bass and backing vocals) and Andy Hunt (Drums). Pist have toured with the likes of Orange Goblin, Raging Speedhorn, and Napalm Death...

Whilst being an avid follower of Metal in several genres, Pist is a band I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing. Consequentially, I come to this cold. The album has a serious theme exploring loss, after a friend of the band committed suicide. They describe their music as Heavy Metal Rock and Roll, which is an understandable way of keeping their options open. I would closer describe the style on this album as Gothic Melodic Black Metal. It was recorded with Chris Fielding, who also worked on the Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard release, Yn Ol I Annwn (which I reviewed earlier this year).

'Ex-Nihilo' begins with a low, gravelly riff, jumping in short order to a galloping pace. This track has three sections to it which completely segue together with no detectable join. There is a small amount of clean vocals, but most are screamed. It’s curious how some vocalists in this field seem to fit the music and themes, whereas others are so discordant and mismatched you wonder what they were even thinking. Here it works well. In places it makes me think of Children of Bodom without the symphonic element.

'Wreck' lays down the trademark solid riff. In this case it introduces the listener comfortably to the song, before adding more complicated and well-honed elements and quickening the pace – only to bring the layers right back to bass and drums. The time changes are well-handled. Again there are reminders of COB. 'Mind Rotter' has an acoustic introduction with a very nice drum pattern supporting it. A heavy riff breaks through. One part of this song sounds very much like early Black Sabbath. There are lots of time changes, and the ever-present guitar riff which bonds the whole. I like the way the drums follow the style and pace of the guitar in 'Fools Gave Chase', driving the song along. There is an introspective section at a much more subdued level. It’s very atmospheric and leads into the first guitar solo proper. Nicely done. When you think it’s fading out, the original frantic but melodic pace reasserts itself.

'If I Was You' is straight out of the Amon Amarth textbook. Alternate fast and moderate pace. It uses that band’s verse style, without conforming to the heavy melodic chorus lines. 'Strangle the Sun' offers another nice acoustic intro with clean vocals. A pagan style. A heavy band piece intrudes with great effect, before changing yet again to a galloping riff (Iron Maiden would be proud!). 'Skin Your God' incorporates an off melody riff for the opener, but this structure has been professionally mapped-out and links to the following parts nicely. Aside from the Metal screams late-on in the song, this is closer to Heavy Rock from the 1970s. A single, perhaps?

In conclusion, I would say this is a great release; much better than I was expecting, having not heard them before. For me Metal has to have energy and melody, and Hailz has it in spades.


Ty Power

Buy this item online