Release DetailsLABEL AcidVictim Records
RELEASED ON 2/7/2006
posted on 9/2006 By:
When I first signed up to review Harvyst,’s Winter EP, I fully expected them to be some young Polish death metal band, based on the artwork. Boy, was I off the mark. Instead, this sixteen minute, three-song offering comes from the lifelessly desolate, unfriendly barren wasteland of the United States’ own truly kvlt town of Kalamazoo, Michigan, the perfect setting for this brief taste of the industrial metal which Harvyst is currently heading into the studio to expand upon in full-length form.
As for Winter, it could turn out to be indicative of what’s to come, or it could be a total swerve. The first track, “Ergot" is a simple, synth-laden track piloted by a very unchallenging galloping riff with a power chord sort of chorus tossed in to break momentum, and way too many dialogue samples. Actually, here’s a whole lot of dialogue samples, which, to me, seems to take away a little bit from the music itself, which also tends to become distracted. ”Mercury” is a Tool/ Isis-like track driven by spacey, airy electronica, a tribally rhythmic percussion pattern, more samples, and one huge fucking Meshuggah breakdown that sadly gets lost in a really muddy mix. Somehow the different segments of this track really don’t fit each other, but I can see where Harvyst were trying to go with it, and it’s nothing a decent outside producer couldn’t help out with to tighten up the loose, meandering ends.
“Winter” closes out like an odd, lazy mix of the first two tracks, as this slow, plodding tune just sort of chugs along taking up space and time. It’s the only track that came across as truly directionless of the three, churning through a rather unremarkable chugging riff with synths darting in and out like musical dragonflies, which barely keep the track from becoming a lost cause. The vocals throughout the EP are interesting due to the rasping death/black hybrid style they employ, which align with a cleaner, more richly melodic voice, both of which are, again, hindered by the muddy, guitar-dominated mix. The burial of the vocals is a real detriment, but since this is just demo material you never know if the production is intentional or what.
There’s enough here to make me curious as to what Lysergency Resolute is going to turn out like, providing the sound quality will be higher. The blending of the more atmospheric elements along with the sharply picked, industrialized riffing isn’t the most smoothly transitioned thing I’ve heard, sounding more unintentionally disorganized rather than intentionally jarring, but it isn’t crap. Even though Harvyst are pretty good at this type of metal, from a songwriting standpoint, there is still a very uneven flow and lack of a truly strong stylistic direction, but not in an elusive, clever way. Since this is more of a teaser than anything, it can really go either way since the music isn’t bad at all, but could use a little more focus, even if that focus is in trying to be as crushing and evasive as possible.
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