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The Harvest Trail – Instinct

The Harvest Trail
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 April 2021, 7:43 AM

Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, newcomers THE HARVEST TRAIL were formed in 2020, and play “no nonsense Melodic Death Metal, done fast and heavy.” Instinct” is the band’s debut release, and contains nine tracks.

“Victims” leads off the album. It begins with tense tones and spoken word. In comes the heavy guitar riff and enraged vocals. The vocals are sort of a combination of guttural utterances, screams and shouts. The guitar work is pretty tight and a lot is demanded of drummer Ashley Large. “War” is a short, intense, two-and-a-half minutes of Death Metal. The band seems to have the Death side of the genre down, but not so much the Melodic side, as the melodies are more subtle. “Rampage” is another three-minute burner. Some intricate guitar work from the rhythm section is present, but the bass is buried in the mix.

“Blood” opens with mellow strings bit it’s a fleeting moment, as the instruments pummel you and the vocals are full on rage. There is a heavy breakdown after the half-way mark. “Genocide” begins with a slower pace, but the aggression continues, along with some pig squeals from the guitars. A little guitar solo also rears its head. “Strangled” begins with a brief ambient into, then the guitars and drums take over in a commanding fashion. It’s just so homogenous that you hardly notice any shifting. “Hunter” is more of the same…fast, heavy and aggressive riffing under vocal screams.

“Flesh” is a two-and-a-half-minute burner, opening with some spoken word, before the chaotic sound returns. A little snippet of melody comes into play here, in the form of harmonic guitar parts. “Ear to Ear” is four-minutes in length, beginning with what sounds like someone in therapy, telling his therapist that he wants to keep his angry thoughts in a very matter-of-fact tone. Some more spoken words come in, slightly hard to make out. But the punishing sound never lets up.

As I mentioned above, the band has the heavy side of the genre down, but not so much the melodic side. The single titled songs and their description that they are a “no nonsense Melodic Death Metal band, done heavy and fast” is spot on. If this is the style the band is going for, they met their mark. But I would have preferred a little more diversity from the album. Nine songs all clocking in at around three-minutes in length does not make for much in terms of diversity. The band are excellent musicians, except again I do not hear any bass guitar notes, and they don’t credit a bassist anyway.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Victims
2. War
3. Rampage
4. Blood
5. Genocide
6. Strangler
7. Hunter
8. Flesh
9. Ear to Ear
Ashley Large – Drums
Ian Binet – Guitars
Brendon Capriotti – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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