‘This, Our Gospel’ leads off HUNTSMEN’s third, swirling scales and surrounding sonics until the psychedelia the band has toyed with before is ushered into the forefront with chanted refrain and off-kilter meter. Then, sadly, not even three minutes in, we’re back in typical post-gaze-whatever-land, where we stay for the remainder of this 8+-minute opener. Sure, there are moments that pique the interest, but they’re brief and peripheral, a grasp too light to hold the attention; vital when you’re dealing with any style, but this one most especially.

Digressionary from the start, ‘Cruelly Dawns’ repeats the pattern, an appealing vocal melody and well-played guitar figures that all too quickly become background music, leaving one with the impression that HUNTSMEN decided to record every jam session and piece them together in the studio to create “songs” instead of actually putting effort into the work.

Unexpectedly, ‘Lean Times’ shines pastoral, yet stark and nebulous, driven by reminiscences of GREEN CARNATION’s stellar The Acoustic Verses EP. When the more aggressive section of the tune begins, you’re there for it, having taken the journey to get to this point instead of being thrust to the end forcefully. ‘In Time, All Things’ stumbles a bit at the start, but (in reverse of the first two tracks) not only regains its footing to end confidently amid a varied soundscape.

‘The Herbsight’ takes its time, as does all of The Dry Land, to be fair, but ends a veritable sea of instruments and vocals in which to immerse oneself, the ability of every member to contribute vocally to what HUNTSMEN are creating here an integral component of their sound, used here to great effect.

For now, I’m still holding my opinion of the opening tracks, but wondering if The Dry Land may simply be a flower that needs a bit of extra tending in my garden. And, when it comes to it, I’d much rather an album reveal itself over time than have shown me all it can within the first few listens. Not one to write off too quickly, that’s for sure. Let’s give this one a bit more time to bloom.
Review By: Lord Randall

The Dry Land
Prosthetic Records