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Haradwaith - The M-Theory Award winner

The M-Theory
by David Hough at 17 March 2023, 4:55 AM

The M-Theory” was initially released independently in 2019. HARADWAITH recently got signed with the German record label, Nihilistische KlangKunst, which then re-released the album. Vocals were provided by Morean from DARK FORTRESS, Arioch from DORDEDUH, and Alessandro Delastik from, SECRETS OF THE MOON. Haradwaith is the name given to the lands south of Mordor and Gondor in “The Lord Of The Rings.”

I wasn’t familiar with HARADWAITH before receiving the promo for review. All I knew going in was that they play black metal. They do play black metal, a type of progressive, at times psychedelic black metal that isn’t afraid to get nerdy. “The M-Theory” is a concept album about man’s journey from Earth to space, and ultimately the destruction of Earth after colliding with a black hole. In physics, M-theory is a theory that unifies all consistent versions of superstring theory.

After a short introductory track, “M-Theory” gets underway with “Down To H.” This track serves as an overview of the never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth according to the laws of the universe. It is still a black metal song through and through. There are plenty of angry, growled vocals, ballistic blast beats, and the electric hum of tremolo picking. There’s even a slow, clean, jazzy breakdown that is expertly placed. “Down To H” oscillates between musical order and chaos well, mimicking the flow of entropy and keeping the song dynamic enough to hold my interest.

The next track of note, “Ghost Of A Dying Man” is also voiced by Morean. This one feels more like a death/doom metal song than a black metal one. It has my favorite lyric on the album, “When math is God, man reigns in the light of the Messiah.” For an album about concepts of physics, there is still plenty of sacrilege. After all, it wouldn’t be a black metal album without any blasphemy. All kidding aside, this track has non-traditional pacing and is still very much a black metal song. Morean’s vocals are on point as well.

The following track, “Transcendental Funeral,” features Arioch on vocals. This one comes out swinging from note one. There’s a short burst of feedback before you are awash in some sweet tremolo picking. Arioch’s vocals have a commanding presence. The aforementioned vocals are growled, yet coherent. The lyrics are about Earth’s collision with a black hole, the central theme of the album. The chant of, “we bury the world in flames,” is a high point.

The next track, “From Earth I Stare Into The Black Hole,” is about man witnessing Earth’s demise. This track features Alessandro Delastik on vocals. He does his best impression of a raving madman, shouting prophecies like, “When the light returns, we will be born again with wings of fire and the consciousness of death.” I love the wordplay on this album. We get such colorful descriptions of the indifference of the universe. Towards the end of the track, there is even a part where blast beats give way to more different blast beats.

Empire Of The Sun” is another track with Arioch on vocals. His vocals have the same authoritative power as they do on “Transcendental Funeral.” This track also has some of the best riffs on “The M-Theory.” The only flaw that sticks out is the first lead guitar solo sounds a bit muddy and the tonal mismatch between the solo and backing instruments was off-putting. Shortly thereafter, this track takes a sharp turn toward the psychedelic. This interlude has some cosmic synth notes coupled with a crying lead guitar solo. The lead guitar tone is back on track at this point. After the trippy passage, comes the best build-up on the album. There’s staccato tremolo picking before the hook comes back and unites both parts of the song perfectly.

I am glad that Nihilistische KlangKunst picked up this album and decided to give it a full re-release. There’s also a limited edition CD on offer for those who like their physical media. While not the typical black metal album, “The M-Theory,” is well-orchestrated, multi-faceted, and rewards repeat listens. The fact that it has three different vocalists is another plus. This album is meant to be taken as a whole unit and not listened to piecemeal. If you have the time and are in the mood for something a little more adventurous, then HARADWAITH’s “The M-Theory is one worth checking out.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The M-Theory
2. Down to H
3. A Glimpse of God
4. Ghost of a Dying Man
5. Transcendental Funeral
6. From Earth I Stare into the Black Hole
7. Empire of the Sun
8. 299792458
Vorst - Bass
Slaktare - Guitars
Raudhrskal - Guitars
Morean - Vocals on tracks 1, 2, 4
Arioch - Vocals on tracks 5, 7
Alessandro Delastik - Vocals on track 6
Klaus Kössinger - Percussion, Trumpet
Record Label: Nihilistische KlangKunst


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