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Harakiri For the Sky - Arson

Label: AOP Records
Format: download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 7.5/10

Complex. Challenging. Abrasive. Coarse. Smart. Harakiri for the Sky are not fucking around. They don’t want you to put this music on in the background at the park, or in your earbuds at your job, or at the gym - - they want you to take the day off from work, sit down with your music player, and pay attention to nothing but the 8 tracks on their 2018 Post-Hardcore/Post-Black Metal album, “Arson.”


Aside from the 5-minute album closer, “Manifesto,” and the 8-minute “Tomb Omnia,” the songs are all between 9 and 10 minutes long. And each of them is demanding and a little bit difficult. The female clean-singing parts of “Manifesto” almost feel like a cool towel on the forehead after a grueling, but satisfying hike through treacheroous, scenic, rocky terrain. It’s also probably my favorite on the record.
There are occasional dalliances of piano, but the album is primarily heavy guitar and drums, bludgeoned by raw-throated shouting. This stuff is great; the music behind J.J.’s voice matches him for power, but also contrasts by going for beauty and complexity. There’s good stuff here, albeit sometimes obscured by the wall of vocal sound. This will probably be the dividing point for new listeners. Me, I think the relentless roar gets overwhelming, but overall, it’s a rewarding experience. I could see HFTS reaching fans across a few Metal subgenre borders.
In addition to “Manifesto,” I’d also recommend “You Are the Scars” and “Voidgazer.”

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