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Harm - October Fire

October Fire
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 October 2016, 8:40 AM

In my opinion, the Thrash/Death genre has been overdone now to the point of nausea. The sound itself can be very interesting, but the challenge for bands in this genre today is in preseting something that separates them from both the history of this sound, and what other bands are out there today in this style. The Thrash/Death trio HARMED comes to us from the country of Norway. They formed in 1997 but did not release their debut LP until 2006. “October Fire” is the band’s third, and contains nine tracks. “Devistator” opens the onslaught. It’s a super-fast song with Thrash/Speed Metal leanings and vocals that register somewhere inbetween Thrash and Death. Though the riff remains pretty linear the musicianship presented is easily noticed. “Executioner” is similar in pace and sound. This isn’t something you haven’t heard before, though the vocals are earnest and probably the high point so far due to the snarling energy he puts into his performance. I like the sound on “Trying to Crow Wings.” They let some evilness slip into the fold by slowing things down and dropping off some of the furvor at times here. The result is a brutal track that is also quite memorable.

The title track, “October Fire,” is another strong song, sounding like what you might witness after a fire ravages a neighborhood and all that is left are the charred, smoking black remains. Though the lyrics point to personal revenge/salvation, the music speaks of desolation and darkness. “Shadow and the Slave” returns to the Speed Metal sound we heard earlier on the album. Again, the musicianship is there but there is little to nothing new in terms of the genre. “Red Stone Souls” however benefits from a good use of rhythm to establish a song that really forces your head to begin going back and forth like any good head-banger would. It’s a simple riff but effective in that manner. Isn’t this one of the techniques that is unique to the Metal genre anyway? “Bad Omen” closes the album. It has a scanty opening that soon gives way to a mid-tempo riff set on crushing skulls and bones. From there it gathers steam and rolls right over anything in it’s path. The album has a whole has potential. There are moments when your ear catches something new but other times when the riffs and passages have easily been heard before. The strength of the album is definitely in the musicianship of the band. With their talents however, they could have challenged themselves to some more diverse songwriting.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Devistator
2. Executioner
3. Trying to Crow Wings
4. October Fire
5. Kill the King
6. Shadow and the Slave
7. Red Stone Souls
8. In these Moments
9. Bad Omen
Steffan Schulze – Bass, Vocals, Guitar
Nicolay Johnsen – Lead Guitar
Kevin Kavvle – Drums
Record Label: Battlegod Productions


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