For many years the thrash metal scene has been predominantly monopolised by an abundance of American and German offerings so it was a breath of fresh air to see Melbourne metal maniacs HARLOTT go from strength to strength with their 2015 release Proliferation turning a lot of heads which also led to them accompanying legendary Canadian’s ANNIHILATOR on a full scale European tour allowing for a massive amount of exposure.
On April 7th the quartet unleashed their most recent offering Extinction via Metal Blade Records and they have certainly kicked it up another notch with a more sophisticated, matured sound but still managing to maintain the same level of high octane riffing and aggression. Frontman Andrew Hudson stays true to his mesmerising vocal approach which has become a staple of the band’s signature sound as it hits you at maximum velocity but has you gripping onto every single word as he proclaims his disgust regarding the current state of the world with his gritty infectious rasp.
The Penitent showcases breakneck riffing and commanding drumming in a combination so devastating that it should come with its own health warning but just to add to the band’s versatility they experience a brief period of slower tempo as they display mouth watering dual guitar work before blasting straight back into thunderously charged, whiplash inducing shredding continuing directly into anger fuelled Whore and its unstoppable riffs including a whirlwind of a solo which resembles a shrieking siren leading you to your inevitable doom.
Extinction seldom wavers from the rapid pace that HARLOTT have instilled from the onset especially with Violent Conspirator and Final Weapon clocking in approximately 2 minutes each and both possessing the pace of a runaway bullet train heading straight for your eardrums but the exception to merciless flurry comes in the form of And Darkness Brings The Light that chooses to adopt a more restrained approach with its infectious vocal melodies and tantalising guitar arrangements.
The choice to record with multi-faceted producer Jens Bogren (Responsible for mixing albums by LEPROUS, KREATOR and BABY METAL just to give you a taste of his diverse history) clearly paid dividends as the riffs sound razor sharp and Extinction showcases HARLOTT at their most clinical, fully displaying the wealth of talents at their disposal to provide an album that feels like an injection of adrenaline directly into your veins and solidifies their place as one of the bands to keep your eye on for many years to come.
Extinction is out now via Metal Blade Records.
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