Harlott – Extinction (Metal Blade Records, 07 April 2017)
Melburnian thrashers Harlott have been preaching the good word about apocalyptic destruction for well over a decade years now, and starting tonight they’ve made the trip from Down Under in order to rampage all across Europe, where they’ll be sharing stages with Havok, Darkest Hour, and Cephalic Carnage throughout the rest of the month.
Further information on that tour can be found down at the bottom of this page, but before we get there, let’s talk about Extinction, which was released exactly one year ago this week — the band’s third full-length album but their first for iconic label Metal Blade.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before (and as it turns out, I did — at least twice), but my first immersion into the world of metal took place somewhere around the beginning of the 1990s, and I continue to have a nostalgic soft spot for thrash in the style of that particular era. For those who feel the same way, this new Harlott record is really going to make your day.
The brief introduction to the title track sets up a bleak and dark atmosphere that will be carried through the rest of the album’s dozen songs, then immediately takes off at a furious pace that never relents throughout, either. Breakneck-speed guitar riffs (often doubled or harmonized) with an explosive rhythm section form the foundation of the band; every single song also features a killer guitar solo (even “Violent Conspirator,” the shortest track here at just a minute-forty, takes time out for some fancy fretwork!)
Vocally, the pacing and style sort of alternate between reminding me of Overkill and Heathen — which just happen to be two of my favorites in the genre — while occasionally (see “And Darkness Brings the Light,” for example) slipping in some epic melodic vocals amongst the shouting and ranting. Lyrically the album certainly matches the dark tone of the music, centering on the end of the world or at least the eradication of the human race — and in case there was any mistake about the band’s attitude towards such an eventuality, check out “Better Off Dead,” which basically summarizes the overarching theme of the whole album.
* * * * * * *
Harlott European Tour 2018 (w/ Havok, Darkest Hour, Cephalic Carnage)
05 April – Oberhausen DE @ Kulttempel
06 April – Berlin DE @ Musik & Frieden
07 April – Leipzig DE @ Hellraiser
08 April – Weinheim DE @ Café Central
09 April – Prague CZ @ Nova Chmelnice
10 April – Budapest HU @ Durer Kert
12 April – Nürnberg DE @ Z-Bau
13 April – Aarau CH @ Kiff
14 April – Lyon FR @ CCO Villeurbanne
15 April – Barcelona ES @ Bóveda
16 April – Madrid ES @ Caracol
17 April – Sevilla ES @ Custom
18 April – Lisbon PT @ Lisboa Ao Vivo
20 April – Pamplona ES @ Totem
21 April – Montpellier FR @ Secret Place
22 April – Paris FR @ Petit Bain
23 April – London UK @ Underworld
24 April – Dublin IR @ Voodoo Lounge
25 April – Glasgow UK @ Cathouse
26 April – Birmingham UK @ Asylum
27 April – Antwerp BE @ Zappa
28 April – Hannover DE @ Faust
29 April – München DE @ Backstage