Black Harvest "Attrition"
Thankfully, the time I have spent with the latest release from Black Harvest has been very rewarding and memorable to the extent that it has earned the accolade of this year's first review.
The first thing obvious once the quick picked strings of the intro subside is that there's an energy, a raw freshly unrestrained emotion to this sound. As "Denial" jars and jolts its way through a varied and pacy five and a half minutes it is as instant on the senses as that first coffee of the morning or first beer of the weekend on a Friday night. It's immediate without being overly accessible, memorable without being predictable and varied without being confusing.
Once "Solace" plonks you on the roller coaster ride of its riffs and melodies you are soon yelling for more with your arms in the air as Kish's vocals provide that perfect blackened death narrative to proceedings. There's so much flow to this track embracing the progressive tendencies of the performer whilst still showing the technical edge of their ability without it ever becoming boring or showy.
As the track closes in an almost psychedelic haze you are soon hauled back into the frenzied tremolo sound of the opening to "Hecatomb". Showing an eloquence for pace, track four sees an acoustic interlude. As the mid-track on the EP, I at first found "Dawn" a little odd but as I have made repeat listens to the release it has grown on me significantly. It offers a brief yet appropriate reprise for what's to come.
Both "Capture" and "Attrition" are strong finishers to the mini-release format Black Harvest have employed this time around. The former track bleeds in nicely after the acoustic interlude with its underlying dark choral tones building the track perfectly as it gathers pace. The same choral vocals return to haunt the end throes of the track setting up nicely the acoustic intro of the title track.
"Attrition" is as a track is as angry and punishing as the definition of the word would suggest, it explores a lot of territory during its whirlwind four minutes fifty four seconds and leaves you with an echoing groan the track comes to an end. Within six tracks Black Harvest present a sustained and enthralling attack of technical death metal with a blackened edge that your gonna keep revisiting. Over too soon yet somehow still so fitting in its length, it marks the next stage in the progression of the artists' journey brilliantly.
Being a friend of Kish (the sole collaborator of the release) I must give special thanks to him for providing me with the super advance copy of the record. A release date is yet to be confirmed but you can experience more of his talent at the Bandcamp page here.