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Fell Harvest – A Pale Light in a Dying World

Fell Harvest
A Pale Light in a Dying World
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 August 2021, 1:11 PM

FELL HARVEST, a Doom Metal from Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA, strives to weave a tapestry of melody, despair, and longing to chronicle the last lights of a dying world. Growing out of a former project of Joseph Fell (Bass/Vocals); which found its completed form as a trio with the additions of Angel Enkeli (Drums) and Liam Duncan (Guitars). The name came from a dream Fell had where he was walking through a deserted vineyard with every vine bearing bleached bones and rotting flesh. Probably the most unique aspect of their live sound is rooted in the fact they are a trio. It’s somewhat rare these days to see a three-piece band in extreme metal, and even more rare to see one that is as melodically driven. The new album contains six tracks.

“Titanicide” opens the album, with a full, old-school kind of sound. The production is just a bit muted, a feature for the style. The vocals have a combination of clean and raspy edges to them, and the main riff harkens back to yesteryear. The title track is an eight-minute beast…a more common length in the style. The audible bass notes here are nice, but the plodding main riff is just a bit rehashed. The drop to ambient tones near the three-minute mark is a nice change of pace. But it soon falls back to that depressing, grinding tone.

“The Lark at Morning” begins with the slow sounds of despair. Though the genre isn’t known much for the vocalist, Fell doesn’t really help much here to push the genre forward. Perhaps some harsh vocals mixed in would give it an edge…I don’t know. The ambient tones in the background are something a little different, however. “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” begins with clean and soft guitars. This time, the clean vocals work quite well. Singing lower in the register seems to bring out Fell’s vocals better. It’s a fitting title for a band that hails from Wyoming, where barely grows.

“Thy Barren Fields” picks up where the previous track ended, with heavy, slow and aggressive tones. This song is perhaps more traditional when it comes to the genre, with heavy drum strikes to go along with the guitar accents. A bass guitar solo carries just a bit of melody towards the end. “The Ghosts of Scapa Flow” closes the album…a nine-minute opus. Scapa is a Scottish distillery, and I wonder if this is what the title refers to. Scotland is rumored to be full of ghosts, as far back as the English engaged them in battle, trying to claim the country for their own. The stalwart sound reflects that sense of pride from the indigenous peoples, but also that deep sense of loss they carry around with them. A warning, do not back one into a corner, for they are formidable opponents. The song tends to drag out for just a bit too long for my tastes.

Within the parameters of traditional Doom Metal, there isn’t much room for originality. You have to either really stretch the imagination of the listeners, without giving too much, or just be so masterful with the placement of melody. Unfortunately, unlike the bio intro, there really wasn’t much in the way of melody on the album. Though the big sound was created by a mere trio, and that is commendable, but they need to find their own personality in the genre, or they will be forever lost within the sea of bands playing a similar style.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Titanicide
2. Pale Light in a Dying World
3. The Lark at Morning
4. The Wind that Shakes the Barley
5. Thy Barren Fields
6. The Ghosts of Scapa Flow
Lineup:
J. Fell – Bass, Vocals, Additional Guitars
L. Duncan – Guitars
A. Enkeli – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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