You may have caught on to the buzz brewing forcibly around UK metallers Harbinger, an increasing clamour which their new EP, Human Dust, alone provides a forceful host of reasons for. Forging technical and death metal in one ferocious tempest unafraid to stretch its adventurous instincts, the release offers six slices of raptorial sound ken to prey on the senses. It is a striking next step from the London based quintet displaying thick potential aligned with their already realised qualities in one attention grabbing exploit.
The follow-up to their well-received debut EP, Paroxysm, the ravenous Human Dust takes little time in stirring ears and appetite with ravenous riffery, swinging rhythms, and sonic dexterity; all colluding with melodic imagination and a blossoming unpredictability which was not so potent in the first release. Everything from songwriting to individual adventure, the dual vocal attack of frontman Tom Gardner to simply the band’s imagination is a bolder step up from Paroxysm.
Human Dust opens up with the instantly invigorating roar of The End of Time. The guitars of Ben Sutherland and Charlie Griffiths barely use a breath to weave a web of intrigue and rabid riffing, their lure matched by the more primal swings of drummer Joel Scott and Kris Aarre’s mutually heavy bassline. It is a fierce and swiftly infectious affair, hooks and sonic dexterity a flirtatious trespass as Gardner roars and brawls with the senses, combining throat raw growls with more harmonic bellows to fine effect. The track swings and savages as it twists and turns through technical and hostile textures, pleasuring and punishing in equal highly agreeable measure.
Just as magnetic and impressing is Humanity’s Limit, the second track seeing Gardner add even cleaner warmer tones to his increasingly captivating attack. The robustly flickering beats of Scott from the start take no prisoners, neither too the rapacious riffs and technical teased grooves and flames which sear and seduce the senses from within a storm at times as primal as it is imaginative. Indicative of all songs, every listen reveals something fresh in the song’s cauldron, next up Psychosomatic similarly sharing richer rewards with every venture into its barbarous yet exotic squall.
Two or three seconds of deceitful calm draws ears into the all-consuming roar of The Darkness of June straight after, the track sharing closely related melodic temptation and arpeggio tenacity to its predecessor within its caustic surge. There is a touch of similarity across some tracks, certainly on a less than intense listen but nothing to particularly defuse the EP’s potency with purposeful attention revealing all the individual qualities of each song.
Human Dust literally burns the senses next, tempering its hostility with melodic caresses and inciting it again with spicy almost toxic grooves and the ever resourceful vocal challenge of Gardner. The guitars provide a carousel of craft and enterprise, rhythms the bullish heart whilst instinctive imagination shapes the song’s compelling character and the wonderful melodic bridge between the track and its EP closing successor II. Captive/Hated. Again time allows the track to share its full richness but straight away it has ears hooked and pleasure sparked with its tenacious exploits and adventurous mercurial twists.
Human Dust as well as proving a thoroughly enjoyable engagement is a bigger step in Harbinger finding true uniqueness in their sound. They are no quite there yet but definitely moving in the right direction whilst providing gripping music certainly fans of bands like Decapitated and Sylosis will find strongly intriguing.
The Human Dust EP is out now through Basick Records; physically @ https://basick.supplies/collections/harbinger and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/human-dust-ep/id1218457845?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017
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