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The Harvest Moon – Decline to Disorder Award winner

The Harvest Moon
Decline to Disorder
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 24 April 2021, 5:17 AM

THE HARVEST MOON is the one-man project of Jamie Freeman (Drummer & Vocalist for Post-Black Metal duo VAGROND).  In 2018, after leaving society to experience back-to-basics off-grid living in the forest of Western Australia, Jamie started working on new music that would become THE HARVEST MOON for emotional catharsis and to pursue his own musical vision in isolation. “Decline to Disorder,” his second EP blends elements of a number of melancholy, emotive heavy music styles, including Depressive Black Metal and Emotional Hardcore. The EP explores various ideas about the nature of humanity and society including the anxiety of living in an infinitely complex civilization, which is beyond the control of our mere human minds. The album contains five tracks.

“No Utopia” opens the album. It’s a short song, but filled with intense rage from the vocals. The guitars let some melody develop, though it’s a sad transaction. I can feel his catharsis in the music. It’s very emotive. “The Fool Searches till Death” begins with soft, clean guitars. The bitterness of the vocals comes through strong. The pretty, clean passage returns at the half-way mark, then it’s back to the crushing weight of the vocals. The closing lyric lines of “Please do not waste all of this precious time, or you will be nothing but a hollow log burning away” tells you what the song is all about.

“Mind in the Machine” is another short song that doesn’t waste any time getting going out of the gates. The guitars again hold the melody, with bass in support. “Will we ever stop and realize that these dreams were never really ours?” he asks. “These Shackles” begins with soft, clean guitars, then in comes the rampage of the vocals. “We’re coming to an end…can we break the cycle?” he quips. The sound drops to a few bars of beauty before the vocals explode at the end. “We are far too willing to pass on the blame, as we refuse to see the destruction in our name”

“Divided and at War” closes the album. It opens again with calm, soothing tones before the guitars start to pick up the pace. The vocals are absolutely soul crushing. Towards the end, it slows, to really get under your skin, leaving you hopeless, with tears in your eyes, holding nothing in the end. This album is very personal and will pull out all of your fears, insecurities, and feelings of not being good enough to the surface. It you let it, it could crush you forever. Jamie has a way with both the lyrics and the music to really toy with your emotions and it’s clear that this was a cathartic journey for him.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. No Utopia
2. The Fool Searches till Death
3. Mind in the Machine
4. These Shackles
5. Divided and at War
Jamie Freeman – Guitars, Drums, Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Talheim Records


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Edited 30 March 2023

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