Grouchy, irritable, and persistently lighting ears with its dirty metal forged rock ‘n’ roll, Psychico Corrosif is one of those offerings which seems to have no intent to fumble with startling originality but would rather create a brawl from recognised textures and hues to ensure a highly flavoursome and enjoyable time is had. That you certainly get with the second album from French metallers Harmorage. It rumbles and grumbles like a bear with a sore head whilst throwing in plenty of twists and adventurous elements; none dramatically unique but all leaving another strain to the overall pleasure gained from its dirty rock ‘n’ roll.
Harmorage began in 2004, formed by the Lyon hailing Chalon brothers, vocalist Daniel and guitarist Nicolas. 2007 saw the release of their debut album Berserker as well as the addition of bassist Frédérick Fiaschi to the band’s ranks. In between we cannot say what consumed the band’s time but fair to say they have honed their sound and made a heftily persuasive studio return with Psychico Corrosive. Also featuring latest band member Bertrand Minary, the drummer joining Harmorage last year, it is an encounter which seems to grow and become more antagonistic with every listen as nuances and initially hidden depths come out to play, in turn making each involvement with its body increasingly satisfying.
Psychico Corrosif sonically shudders as it awakens through Reveillons nous!, resonating tremors and a haunting dance of disorientating sounds, didgeridoos included, converging on ears before a metal groove emerges from a clearing and throws its familiar heavy metal hues forward. This seems to spark sinew crafted rhythms and tangy riffs before the grizzly tones of Daniel add their hoarse textures to the incitement. His French sung delivery and imposing riffery carries a touch of Irish band Triggerman which adds great shade to the more classic metal breeding of the grooves and guitar enterprise. With the bass a bestial growl throughout, it is a strong start to Psychico Corrosif emulated and surpassed by its title track. The second track immediately springs a web of psychotic tenacity in imagination and bedlamic sound which is strung together by the rhythmic intent and prowess of Bertrand. There is a sense of System Of A Down to the unpredictability and discord lined stomp, a touch of bands like Arcania and Yugal also toning the tempestuous snarl and fury of the excellent encounter to great effect.
The following Le fer dans la plaie also comes off of an initial predatory bass growl, its alluring bait tempered a little by the melodic acidity which quickly joins the tempting. A quick pick-me-up comes with the bundle of vocal causticity and twisted array of guitar tenacity which blooms throughout though, the latter bursting into a captivating glow of melody rich enterprise across the track before Scarifiés stamps its ruggedly creative resourcefulness on ears and enjoyment and after, the dirty punk ‘n’ roll of Je condamne et j’accuse spews attitude and trashy rock ‘n’ roll to rousing success. In most songs there are skilled slips into contrasting and temporarily wrong-footing exploits which again give something slightly familiar a fresh character and temptation, this pair fine examples and results of that arguably not pushed enough adventure within Psychico Corrosif and indeed Harmorage.
The atmospherically compelling Aurore boréale grips the imagination next, though as within most songs a thrash seeded charge from riffs and rhythms aligns to rapacious grooves cast by guitars and bass to eventually take hold. Simultaneously exploring a progressively honed landscape infused with coarse stoner bred and melodically cultured scenery, the song is a weave of individual textures and fascinating flavours all colluding for another slab of revelry which relentlessly grows in intensity and persuasion.
The rhythmic seducing opening up Images du monde is instant slavery leading to a crotchety roar of attitude and sound, a confrontation unafraid to twist and turn through groove and heavy metal devilry on a fluid whim as it lights a fire in body and passions. The best track on the album it is ablaze with its inventiveness of turning old friends of sound into something aggressively refreshing and creatively unpredictable, as shown by its smouldering oasis of atmospheric peace and melodic serenading just after midway. It is an experiment and boldness the band hints at throughout the album but is finally given its own head here and almost as freely in the closing pair of Mon anarchie and Droit et fier. The penultimate song again makes great use of merging punk and grooved rock spices with metal voracity, the drum skills of Bertrand especially gripping against the sonic squall and Daniel’s earthy rasps. The final track kind of sums up the punk, metal, rock ‘n’ roll union that is the Harmorage sound; a muscular and ratty bellow of belligerence happy to throw the listener off the scent with unexpected drifts into smooth caresses and imaginative detours. Simply growing in strength and persuasion over each and every listen, it is an electric end to a mightily pleasing release.
Psychico Corrosif is raw and at times a touch too familiar with its originality, though not necessarily the storms they brew them up in, but there is no escaping it is also one rip-roaring slab of pushy fun and that definitely works for us.
Psychico Corrosif is available now
Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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