Review: Guhts ‘Regeneration’

As the new year rolls in, what better way to start by welcoming with it some new tunes too. Even though it is only January, there are already several new releases heading this way which will probably end up being part of the soundtrack to the year for sure. One such release is the debut album Regeneration by new Brooklyn bruisers Guhts.

Guhts 'Regeneration' Artwork
Guhts ‘Regeneration’ Artwork

Part noisenik, part post-metal, and with a fair-sized splattering of doomy shoegaze, this album will leave you desperate for more, right from the dying seconds of every playthrough.

The American quartet remind me of another band who I recently had the pleasure of reviewing, and interviewing, and that is Unverkalt. Now, I wouldn’t say that it’s because they both fall into any certain demographic, or genre specifically, more so that both bands have a uniqueness that is hard to classify, equally heavy as they are darkly ambient, and both share a vocalist with such a distinctive range, which far excels your usual vocal for a band of this nature.

That being said, there are also distinctions between the two, most notably with Guhts it’s that there’s a darker, sludgier underbelly, which will leave a grim imprint on your soul, that from this point if you invest some time in the band, you will instantly reach to them as a benchmark for this style of intensity.

The album itself, Regeneration, is seven gruesome slices of vitriol, and weighing in at around forty-five minutes, it’s a nerve shredding, anxiety inducing turmoil, which will leave you absolutely exhausted in its wake. As for the layout of the album, it is a game of multiple levels, each varying in depth and intensity.

Tracks one and two, White Noise and Til Death respectively, give a very rich introduction and set the scene for the rest of the album. Dark and heavy in both tone and nature, we are given a very real awakening to the band early on.

The awkward, visceral delivery of the vocal laying over a background of drudgy guitar and drums, leave no room for misinterpretation as to the vibe going on here. It’s somewhat riot grrrl over sludge at times, but to break it down to such brass tacks is truly a disservice as it’s only after repeated listens that the depth of it all really sinks in.

a nerve shredding, anxiety inducing turmoil…

Track three, however, The Mirror is where the band splinter off and introduce us to a different side of themselves. There is a more ambient approach this time, and while it is quite eerie, its darkness is most welcome with me especially. There is an added dimension that forms here, which isn’t present on the opening two numbers. It is tracks such as this where I start to appreciate the versatility of Guhts.

I have this again with track five, Eyes Open, which I embrace a little more than its predecessor Handless Maiden. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the latter, it is just more intoxicating to me personally. I’m all for pounding drums, screeching vocals, and wailing guitars, but give me a dark, emotion driven, dankness, and I’m all in. That’s what I get with Eyes Open by the bucketload. There’s a super cool post-rock pain to this one too, and for me, I think this quickly becomes my favourite track of the whole album. It is brutal, but it isn’t too much and has a dark beauty to it that I would love to see the band really introduce into their sound as they evolve. This is my ‘defining moment’ of the whole album, and its simply mystifying.

Again, it’s the different vibes that pull me in with this band, and it couldn’t be more fantastic then for track six Generate. This time round there’s a magical embracing of some shoegaze vibes into the mix, and as I said previously, it is tracks such as this where they truly shine. Both vibrant and exciting, it’s the minimalism, and holding back on the intensity which provides such a fuller sound, and for me, this is what I hoped the band might drop into at some point throughout the album. I love this track, and I hope this is the inception of their sound moving forward, not because everything else by comparison isn’t as good, but this is the most established and tight that the band are as a unit. It really is a testament to them, and fully visualises just what they are capable of.

Track seven, The Wounded Healer closes the album off perfectly, with a slow drudgy ending. It doesn’t throw anything at the listener that they won’t have heads already, and all the while is one last reminder of just how versatile this band are.

Yes, coming away from it, there are things which I have loved, and you may disagree, and have your own thoughts on it all, but that’s the beauty of this work. It isn’t one set sound, more a play in seven varying parts. Please source this album out, give it some time, and see how you feel about it all. As a start to 2024, this is a highlight, for both me and hopefully you guys and gals too.

Label: New Heavy Sounds | Seeing Red Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish