By Dr. Abner Mality

Where raw punk and primal black metal collide is where you will find Haust hanging their hat. This Norwegian band proves that Norway is moving far beyond the usual corpse paint and spikes paradigm when it comes to disturbing, rebellious music. These guys have struck a nerve with their quirky brand of musical revolt.

Where does the punk end and the black metal begin? Wiser heads than mine will need to figure it out. It just might be that Haust themselves don't know...the music is basic, bare bones and yet captivating. The first song is called "Raw Material" and never has a track been more accurately described. A pulsating bass riff gives way to a simple riff that hacks through your brain like a rusty razor blade. Get a load of those nasty, hateful vocals....again, is it punk or is it black metal? Only your mortician knows for sure.

Although most of "NO" is based on discrete chunks of musical concrete, there's room for some surprises. The crushing "Into The Night" gives way to a shocking and very original "Night", where a classic rock piano motif makes you think Ian Hunter might be around the corner. But then those sick, ultra-distorted guitar explosions add their weight. This is brilliantly unorthodox! The last cut "Dead Of Night" (methinks these boys are fixated on the afterhours!) is also a fly in the soup...slow, repetitive, powerful, but with the addition of minimal piano giving it a real majestic feel. And that's the secret to Haust...taking stripped down sound and making something memorable out of it.

Only 28 minutes to this scathing little album. Can you afford to miss it?