Torture Tunes



Excuse me while I pick myself up from being steamrolled, as “Ballistic” and “Heretic” the third and fourth songs on Harlott’s album Origin illustrate the blitzkrieg propulsion that thrash can deliver when in the right musical minds and bodies. Active in the Melbourne, Australia scene since 2006, the quartet has issued two previous EP’s to the public and appear ready to tackle the international marketplace through their strong technique, attention to riff accents and detail, and songwriting that is on par with the best from the Bay Area.

Imagine a clash of the titans between the early Zetro-led Exodus years tangling with Testament during The Legacy period, and possibly the speed factor at times of latter day Dark Angel/ Viking and you will understand Harlott’s method of operations. Guitarists Andrew Hudson and Ryan Butler smoke at their instruments, certainly studying at the altar of many neo-classical/ technical shred greats- check out the soloing on “Heirophobia” and “Virus” as people into Alex S. or the many great Forbidden times will savor their tasty work.

Bassist Tom Richards and drummer Dan Van Twest capably keep up with all of the subtle twists and turns these hyper-fast guitarists muster – knowing when to calm down for that mid-tempo transition sure to promote maximum limb damage in “Effortless Struggle” and the slow, tribal maneuvers that roll perfectly with the triplet action on “Regression”. Large background vocals, intensity throughout- by the time you finish this under 40 minute album, you’ll be drenched in sweat and reaching for the replay button.

Already a hotbed for death metal and power/progressive metal, I think Australia also has a healthy grasp on the commandments of thrash- and Harlott are one of the best bands to come from down under and compete for domination. Origin I believe could be the start of a rather prosperous, lengthy career.

Matt Coe, HMS

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