With technical metal’s ever increasing popularity is there any room for fresh new blood to break the scene amongst giants of the genre such as SYLOSIS, DECAPITATED and MALEVOLENCE? HARBINGER certainly seem to be among this new breed, a five piece from London with the aim of decimating the opposition with their own crushing recipe of riffs, beatdowns and well thought out lyrics.
Human Dust opens with the first single from the EP, The End of Time into a quick paced tight technical riff, the vocals spouted furiously from front man Tom Gardner are a fitting touch to the harsh guitars and pounding of the drums. After two minutes the song transforms and launches into a mosher’s dream, a thunderous riff from Ben Sutherland followed by the double bass drums blasting the song to close.
Next up Humanity’s Limit certainly lives up to the anger of its name, however it is also the first appearance of clean vocals on the EP. This experimentation sets HARBINGER apart from many of their tech metal brethren. The vocals lead into the next progression without feeling forced or cliché. After a short guitar bridge the riffs return, showcasing the bands tight knit sound with harmonised guitars fitting together perfectly creating a massive sounding cacophony.
Psychosomatic soon follows with a barrage of riffs, propelling the song into a stunning solo which really shoes off the guitar work between Ben Sutherland and Charlie Griffiths‘ ability. The production also shines on this sound, the guitars are crisp and cut through the depths of the mix taken by the tight yet bombarding drums and the rumble of the bass. The Darkness of June swiftly follows and introduces a black metal-esque atmosphere to the chaos, shortly followed by a riff straight from the depths, almost bringing a MALEVOLENCE quality with which is by no means dissatisfactory. The song is sure to become a pit favourite, closing with possibly the heaviest beat down on the EP by a mile.
I, Human Dust, the second to last track is the best example of technicality on this EP, the guitar work is simply astonishing with riffs that rival bands at the top of their game in this field, coupled together with the vocal prowess of Tom Gardner who showcases his range here, reaching sounds similar to that of Travis Ryan of CATTLE DECAPITATION. Closing out the song is a surprisingly clean yet by no means out of place melody, preparing for one finally assault for the listener. II, Captive/Hated is that assault and with it comes a surprisingly haunting theme reverberating throughout, with echoed guitars setting the scene as the abrasive guitars below collide creating a wall of sound showing they will not go quietly. This delayed aggression continues and transforms into the closing clean passage which closes the EP peacefully.
Overall, this output from HARBINGER is highly impressive, along with their obvious skill and tight knit riff making ability they’ve also produced a sound which while clearly showing its influences to the leaders of the field is bespoke to them. The production being as polished yet retaining that raw aspect is just the cherry on the cake, meaning HARBINGER are one to keep an eye on.
Human Dust is set for release on June 16th via Basick Records.
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