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Harlott - Detritus Of The Final Age review

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Band: Harlott
Album: Detritus Of The Final Age
Release date: November 2020

01. As We Breach
02. Idol Minded
03. Bring On The War
04. Detritus Of The Final Age
05. Prime Evil
06. Nemesis
07. Slaughter
08. Grief
09. Miserere Of The Dead
10. The Time To Kill Is Now

Has the time come? .

Ever since I stumbled across Origin several years ago through immersing myself in Australian thrash having discovered Mortal Sin, Harlott have been a band I have been keeping eyes and ears on. Carving out a niche for themselves in a genre many find repetitive is no easy task, but the band have done exceedingly well to stand alone like an island in a sea over the years. 2020's Detritus Of The Final Age is an appropriately named record given the world into which it has been released, but at least it makes for a kickass soundtrack to see out the year.

The band's ability to weave melody with heaviness alongside the knack for writing catchy tracks has made the band a formidable musical force; Detritus Of A Final Age is no exception, with tracks like the title track and "Slaughter" providing the expected great mix of riff-laden thrash led by the compelling vocals of Bartley, which has been one of the main weapons in the band's arsenal on prior work. How the band has managed to one-up themselves continually is something that bodes well for new fans and old hands alike.

The album has a healthy mixing of styles; with "Nemesis" and "Miserere Of The Dead" clocking in at the best part of eight minutes, Harlott can't be accused of playing things safe. Though long songs are not an unknown thing in thrash metal, they do run a high risk of stretching themselves out or lacking sufficient material to justify such lengths, unlike genres such as prog. The band, however, ensure such running times are not merely a gimmick but a result of such vast material that the songs had to be so long in order to accommodate all that has gone into it.

As to provide the ying to the aforementioned yang of such long tracks are "Idol Minded" and the closing "The Time To Kill Is Now", which provide short sharp shocks of power in the most condensed and full-on ways, throwing the set dressings aside and just hammering home the power. This ability to intermix these styles on one record gives an ebb and flow to proceedings that makes for an enjoyable listening experience, with breathing spaces here and there dotted between bursts of energy.

The band are on fine form, with Bartley and Hudson providing a punk-indebted approach to thrash guitar work that is both powerful yet straightforward, with the central riffs to tracks like "Slaughter" catching the ear quickly. Richards' bass hits the perfect mix between rumble and precision, filling out the sound but keeping to its pocket in equal measure. Making his debut record with the band is drummer Trayhern, who plays the part admirably throughout.

The album is not without its shortcomings, however; while "Bring On The War" and Grief" are good attempts at providing slow and brooding tracks that emerge into a big blowout towards their ends, both fall short in making waiting for that payoff worth it or indeed making the wait enjoyable rather than something to sit there and stare at your watch during until they kick on.

With 2020 drawing to a close, Harlott provide a strong and compelling record to see the year out on a high note, compiling yet another solid tour de force of an album to add to their growing list of releases. Detritus Of The Final Age hopefully will provide the band the calling card with which to ascend to a higher level of popularity than they currently enjoy.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written on 25.11.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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