HOUWITSER belong to the bunch of bands who play competent music but without even the tiniest spark of originality (SIX FEET UNDER or LOWBROW being another cases in point). I have always seen HOUWITSER as a mix between SINISTER (for the music) and BOLT THROWER (for the militaristic image). The SINISTER connection seems quite logical considering the fact that almost the entire HOUWITSER line-up comes from this band, and the music on offer on "Damage Assessment" reminds the best moment one can find on "Cross The Styx", it could have been worse. Musically wise, the HOUWITSER warriors are without a doubt extremely talented and deliver the goods with pleasurable sheer enthusiasm. Consequently "Damage Assessment" comes out as a very enjoyable album even if the Death Metal played here could have been in a little more daring and challenging. Indeed HOUWITSER exploits always the same recipe (hacked rhythms with lot of breaks, very similar to what SINISTER - again! --are known for). The overall sound of this album is very polished, the production adds a lot to the deadly effect of the whole. The sad thing is that after listening to a couple of songs, a sense of tiredness emerges, because of the one-dimensional musical approach, to the point the eight tracks on offer here end to be very long despite the shortness of the whole album. In fact, you have to wait for the very last track ('Hunger For The Feast') to finally find exciting music, I hope HOUWITSER will develop this kind of songwriting in the future. To sum it up, a good album, but a little too generic to attract immediate attention, especially in a market saturated by very bad but also by groundbreaking bands hungry to crush the boundaries of basic Metal. Authentic and honest stuff, but banal in the end. Contact: www.houwitser.com.
- HOUWITSER - Rage Inside The Womb - by Ramon Claassen