Saturday, July 17, 2021

Elusive Illumination...

Fell Harvest - Pale Light in a Dying World (2021)

Following up on their self-titled EP from last year, the power trio of Fell Harvest have made their return with a solid forty minutes of forceful doom metal. Peppering in a little bit of spoken word samples here and there, the main focus remains firmly on the strength of the instruments' impact, moods that lean more towards rage than sorrow, and pressing ever onwards.

With “Titanicide”, the opening track, the band sets a powerful first foot forward. Pounding percussion, strident vocals, and insistent strings come together in punchy chords and hooky riff arrangements. Some sharp guitar work gives those hooks all the more ability to lodge in the back of your brain, and the speed with which the band rams through their ideas makes the four-minutes-and-change practically zoom past. As the title track follows up on that initial salvo, expanding into an eight-minute rambler, the band finds more room for slow melodic focus. It should be noted that, in spite of the song names, there's fairly few moments of sorrowful calm to be found in the album; funeral doom, this is not. But the times when it does arrive (as with the extended bridge in the title track) are well-used, making the inevitable returns to thunderous pummeling feel more impactful.

Thankfully, the interplay of the band members is reliably interesting and inventive, shifting focus around the trio's talents to strong effect, and keeping the songs feeling that much more vitalized as a result. In particular, when they unite around a main driving riff, things really kick into gear (see “The Lark at Morning” for a strong example). Similarly, when they give attention to grinding down a particular rhythm (as in “Thy Barren Fields”), the results are some of the album's heaviest. All in all, it's a very strong album from the band, and one with enough twists in the compositions to reward return visits. Here's hoping that their next album finds a little more time to spend in the melodics and sorrow, though.

~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Candlemass, The Fateful Hour, Heavydeath, Opeth, Pilgrim


Fell Harvest - Thy Barren Fields (320 kbps)


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