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Harlott - Origin Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 25 February 2014, 1:49 AM

Rarely do I hear Thrash Metal that comes close to the gems (both shining bright and in the rough) found in the 80's and early 90's, where I feel the genre was at a peak. However, in more recent times I have found evidence that there is a kind of resurgence in Thrash, in the form of newer bands such as SKELETONWITCH and TOXIC HOLOCAUST. Australian Thrashers HARLOTT are such an act, putting a modern twist on staying true to the classic sound of TESTAMENT and KREATOR and, in classic SLAYER fashion, have managed to fire off an album containing a wide array of tracks that all sound different, yet keep coherence as an album.

Opener "Origin" has an exceedingly powerful intro with windmill-inducing riff work that switches up between chaotic thrashings, and deadly, ICED EARTH-esque passages, with equally-powerful screams. I was a little shocked halfway through to hear some riffs that reminded me of DEICIDE; a most welcomed addition. "Ballistic" is a much shorter track that manages to cram in many more musical ideas than the predecessor; at only just over 2 minutes long, it presents us with what feels (literally) the fastest drumming and guitar work on the record. To complement the expert musicianship, vicious guitar solos are spewed forth

"Export Life" deserves particular attention; not just because of the tight, intellectual (in Thrash Metal?!) songwriting and the thoughtful attention paid to chord and melody progressions, but the uncharacteristically elegant guitar solo. It begins, flies through and ends with an incredibly powerful euro-Metal sound, which one would find in almost all Gothernberg Melodic Death bands. The final track, "Not Long for this World" stood out as my absolute favorite, alternating between aggression-fuelled riffs and more organized, groove-ridden passages with many catchy, melodic fills. Andy demonstrates his best vocal ability here, able to balance a powerful, Heavy Metal approach, with raucous Thrash vocals, and deeper timbres that shift deliciously close to Death Metal.

"Origin" is a modern Thrash masterpiece which will most definitely slither its way into regular listening; right up there with INVOCATOR and TOXIC HOLOCAUST.

5 Star Rating

1. Origin
2. Effortless Struggle
3. Ballistic
4. Heretic
5. Export Life
6. Hierophobia
7. Kill
8. Infernal Massacre
9. Regression
10. Virus
11. Ultra Violence
12. Not Long for This World
Andy Hudson – Guitars, Vocals
Ryan Butler – Guitars
Tom Richards – Bass, Backup Vocals
Dan Van Twest – Drums
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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