Review: Harlott “Detritus Of The Final Age” [Metal Blade Records]

Review: Harlott “Detritus Of The Final Age” [Metal Blade Records]

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Seems like November is going to be a fruitful month for Thrash Metal scene – a couple of bands, from young to the famous ones will joy the fans with their new releases. For my sorrow I can’t listen to them all but I’ll try to do my best. So let’s start from young Australian band Harlott, which will release its fourth album Detritus Of The Final Age.

A little bit of history: Harlott was formed in 2006 in Melbourne. Five years later the band releases two EPs – Virus (2011) and None (2012). Since 2013 their longplays Origin, Proliferation and Extinction were released every two years. Further, the band’s line-up was changed as well and for the moment Harlott are: Andrew Hudson (vocal, guitar), Tom Richards (bass, back vocals), Leigh Bartley (guitar) and Glen Trayhern (drums).

“For the first time ever I went into this album with a blank slate,” says Andrew Hudson. “No ideas or requirements, just an empty record ready to be filled with whatever took me. Obviously thrash metal is the wheelhouse of what we do, and it came out pretty thrashy, but it was great to be able to set that aside and explore other avenues.”

As a result, Detritus Of The Final Age became a very dynamic Thrash Metal album, full of aggression but with a wide use of elements from other genres. However, it should be said that these elements are masterfully integrated in music and in many cases they even can’t be noticed from the first listening.

“Pure” Thrash Metal songs here are “Slaughter”, “Idol Minded” and the opener “As We Breach” – they all are fast paced songs with aggressive riffs and powerful drums, which going blast beating from time to time or deliver a machine-gun double pedal. Andrew’s vocals are angry growls, which fit this music greatly so it is nothing for the fans of this genre to complain. In “Prime Evil” musicians put the speed at the forefront so the whole song sounds like a solid Thrash Metal attack, fast and robust, with some technical solos from Brian Hopp, Cephalic Carnage guitarist.

“Bring On The War” slowly escalates the atmosphere in the beginning just to further bring down an aggression with a catchy chorus, which sounds more like Heavy in its structure. In the middle of the song musicians increase the pace and the song finally transforms into melodic Thrash, becoming even catchier that in was. “Nemesis” also starts quite gloomy: measured drums and tough riff change an acoustic guitar; the chorus is dark as well, the music goes from Thrash to Heavy a couple of times while Leigh and Andrew deliver some melodic solos. “Grief” in its turn can pretend to be the most atmospheric song in this album: it sounds grim, sinister and it’s totally uncommon for the album like this. According to Andrew, this song “really just sums up the darkest parts of the journey that was watching what cancer can take away from someone”. 

The most diverse song in Detritus Of The Final Age is the longest, almost nine minutes long, “Miserere Of The Dead”: started with acoustic guitar, like “Nemesis”, it suddenly goes to Death Metal brutality, emphasized with Glen Trayhern’s great drumming. The atmosphere is expectedly dark here with surprisingly melodic chorus, where Andrew lowers his voice and gets some young James Hetfield intonations. In the middle of the song everything fades out, leaving only some clean guitars, which is joined by bass and drums later. The heaviness and the tremolo are back further and the last part of the song sounds in a good Thrash/Death Metal way.

The album ends with short “The Time To Kill Is Now”, where Harlott mixed Punk with Thrash, getting a very sharp and aggressive song, where blast beats alternates with some dirty riffs.

All in all, Australians continue their Thrash Metal way and in can be felt they are full of energy. However, Detritus Of The Final Age sounds more “mature”, comparing to its predecessors: it’s still aggressive but at the same time it has much more variety and atmosphere, which make it interesting not only for diehard “thrash till death” fans.

Detritus Of The Final Age will be released on November, 13 via Metal Blade Records.

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