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Harasai - Psychotic Kingdom

Harasai
Psychotic Kingdom
by Vladimir Leonov at 24 June 2013, 9:38 PM

At the first sight of the band’s name it sounded like a Japanese visual-kei band for me, but in fact it derives from “heresy” which was a term used during medieval ages to design those damned with the Church’s wrath and the medieval theme is also incarnated in track titles containing words such as “Kingdom”, “Sun”, as well as metaphysics in “In Circles Forever” and “Reflections” even though the track is instrumental, it's doors open to you to decipher what they intend to convey. The singer did a remarkable job alternating harsh high and low pitched vocals and clean ones with backing harmonic vocals. The latter are mostly performed during the acoustic riffs, let me cite for example “The Art Of The Sun” which contains a majestic chord succession, but that sometimes take a folk timber as in “The Art Of The Sun” by its end.

The melodic Death genre was easy to identify even if it sound a bit thrashy with the specific succession of fast aggressive similar chords, the melodic extremity elements are omnipresent. Undoubtedly, the key point is the refrain distorted guitar riffs with the typical thirty-second notes, and often backed by a harmonic guitar as we find in “Three Kings” in which a Black Metal-like drumming and tremolo in the intro leaves the space to an acoustic duo soon to be replayed on distorted guitars. Bass didn’t have its share of effort, even if some emphasis was put on it in the low-tempo bridge with fast drum beats in the album track “Psychotic Kingdom”. Concerning the solos, they were, most of the cases, short but well played for less is sometimes more, but we notice for example the heavy chords in “Dying Race Domain” which end with a fast tempo solo, the low-tempo one of “The Liquid Everything” and on top of all, the outro fast solo of “In Circles Forever” fading out along with a huge focus on vocals both clean and harsh and well backed.

Although the basic structure of melodic Death Metal was kept, the change of signature in “Resist To Rebild”, the whole “Reflections” with strong drum snares, a respectable bass rhythm and acoustic guitars with discrete hints of blues, which reminds us of OPETH’s “To Bid You Farewell” just suggests a possible Progressive Metal influence. “Skywards We Fly” is a piano short pause unusual for melodic Death, in which tempo is increasing little by little and the chords sound clearer and more intense, followed by a final decrescendo. Such elements helped in one way or another get rid of the typical structure of melodic Death.

To conclude, I’d rather say that the use of the same scale almost in every song, and the desperate attempt to introduce oriental scales which are too mainstream are likely to cause you a slight deception. But all in all, HARASAI is undoubtedly an underrated band, and we hope that “Three Kings” and “The Liquid Everything” video clips help them promote their work for unfortunately the effort on music writing is no longer enough nowadays.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Resist To Rebuild
2. The Liquid Everything
3. Three Kings
4. The Art Of The Sun
5. Skywards We Fly
6. Heretic Souls
7. Psychotic Kingdom
8. Dying Race Domain
9. In Circles Forever
10. Reflections
Lineup:
Martin Wittsieker - Vocals
Yannick Becker – Guitars
Patrick Wassenberg - Guitars
Arne Laßen - Bass, Backing Vocals, Piano
Nicolas Becker – Drums
Record Label: Quality Steel Records
     


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