Thursday, 22 November 2012

Harvester - The Blind Summit Recordings (album review))

Harvester is a high energy stoner band from Galway, Ireland.  They play balls out, charging through songs with an almost terrifying momentum.

Harvester kicks in the door and introduces themselves on opening track "Cosmonautical Mile", charging, chugging and squealing through almost seven exhausting minutes of heavy stoner groove only pausing momentarily five minutes in for an engine revving floor tom respite.  It's a rude introduction to the band but we'll get the door fixed after the album stops spinning.

"Circle Eater" picks right up where the first track leaves off with some powerful bass grooves courtesy of Steve Loughney and introducing some welcome Lynott-isms on guitar.  A theme and influence that will be revisited later on the EP.

On "Aberration" drummer Kenn Sweeney waxes Des Kensel-ian, letting his inner caveman out.  And that should read "letting his inner caveman out running, screaming, club held over head ready to strike a death-dealing blow".  The caveman spills out onto the next track "Old Blood", with rapid fire tom fills and rolls that rev like a Harley.  And you know a Harley ain't about nothing but power and intimidation.  Towards the end of this track twin guitars (Gavin Grealy [also on vocals] and Bryan Higgins) sound profoundly like some of Phil Lynott's best moments, a maze of rapid fire scales to make the head spin.

"Atom Splitter" is a slower, more sludgy, doomy number.  Grealy's yelled vocal performance recalls a particular brand of New England style of singing found in bands such as Black Pyramid, Summoner, Slow Mover and Set, among others, and I begin to wonder if this isn't an Irish thing (yeah, I know, not everybody from Boston is Irish).

Closing track "All Roads Led Away" is a melancholic and epic instrumental.  It's epic in the choice of chords.  A tune emerges from a fog of minor chords which builds until it fades away, dissipating into an acoustic refrain, whereupon the track and the album comes to a close.

Overall it's a kick-ass EP, and I mean that in an almost technical sense.  It's an uptempo and high energy recording that mixes some excellent influences and gives each member of the band his moments to shine.

Highlights include: "Cosmonautical Mile" and "Circle Eater"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 30:29

From: Galway, Ireland

Genre: Stoner Rock, Doom

Reminds me of: Red Fang, Snake Thursday, Steak, Summoner, Thin Lizzy

Release Date: November 4, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Turning off the highway and realizing you have no breaks.

Better Reviews:
Heavy Planet

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