Album Review: Violent Nature

Violent Nature is the second full-length album put out by Calgary riff rock wizards Woodhawk. The trio puts the science fiction themes, that were prevalent on their 2017 release Beyond the Sun, on the back burner for this record and turn towards a more therapeutic brand of music making. The guys may not be singing about Star Wars anymore but the songs off of this record are no less epic as a result. Turner Midzain (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Badmington (Bass/Vocals), and Kevin Nelson (Drums) are able to deliver something that is truly special as they explore the darker themes of losing long term relationships, suicide, and drug abuse. The exploration of these themes marks out a certain maturity within the band. They have found an expressive outlet in this album and the vulnerability that they are willing to share with their audience shows a confidence in their abilities that is a delight to behold. Both in sound and musical progression I can not help but comparing these wizards of shred to the legendary progressive metal band Mastodon. Beyond the Sun was the bands Blood Mountain and Violent Nature is the bands Crack the Skye (arguably one of the greatest progressive metal albums that has been released within the last decade). Woodhawk was able to harness the emotions and the energy from their struggles over the past 2 years and produce something that will not only touch your soul but also leave you yearning to take out your own emotional stress in the pit at one of their shows.

Woodhawk Band Photo 2 - Credit - Trevor Hatter web.jpg
On previous efforts, we wrote from a science fiction standpoint. It’s where we were all at at the time. Now, we believe in honesty and find the therapeutic side of music. The concept really stems from the idea that this ‘Violent Nature’ isn’t who we want to be. We’re very good at putting on our fake smiles and moving forward. But behind the scenes, we were all dealing with more than we ever knew. This album has been an expressive honest view into our lives over the past 2 years.

The trio have leveled up in all aspects of the game, from song composition to lyrical content the hero known as Woodhawk has become a champion for those of us who struggle with our mental health. They’re here to tell the downtrodden and the dispossessed that it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to admit that you are struggling. In a scene that is dominated by beards that would make Rasputin himself jealous that can be a powerful message indeed. Hard and soft, heavy yet light, the contrast is real as groove seeking breakdowns give way to heartfelt heavy metal ballads. The single Weightless Light gives a whole new meaning to the word groove as the high energy guitar and the gut-busting rhythm section combine to deliver a breakdown that will worm its way into your head and have you humming along all day. Clear the Air is a dark and stormy ballad that captivates the mind and pulls at the heart strings as it belts forth the sounds of resolution. Woodhawk has cultivated the perfect amount of rise and fall within the album that will keep you guessing and leave you pleasantly surprised with each passing track. No matter which end of the sonic spectrum the guys find themselves dabbling in you can gurantee that the sounds will be raw, the feelings will be real, and the overall results will be really really good.

If you would like to purchase your very own copy of Violent Nature you can do so HERE

If you would like to know more about Violent Nature and how it was made you can check out episode 80 of Groove Talk which features Turner Midzain, the guitar player and vocalist for Woodhawk