Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Harvest Gulgaltha - I MLP


It's a sad state of affairs when all of your days seem to blur into one. Thankfully, each day brings a news musical experience or discovery. That may seem a bit too positive in light of the band I'm reviewing now, but without a sense of curiosity and a need for escapism, I might not have found them.

Harvest Gulgaltha is a mysterious black metal band from the US. It's members undisclosed. The band found it's home on underground black/ambient label Aphotic Sonance in 2012. This very record was released as a demo and a compilation followed two years later. Since then, Harvest Gulgaltha has made their was onto Nuclear War Now!'s prestigious roster and that original demo has been re-released in vinyl form. 

Tracklist:-

1. Infinite Black
2. Manifestation Of Nightmares
3. Release The Flesh
4. Limbonic Soul
5. Scepter Of The Shadows Of Death

Harvest Gulgaltha begin with a blackened march on Infinite Black. The instrumental build up leads to a cavernous attack of the senses via mid-paced black metal, filled with a thick low-end and rasping deep bellows interspersed with distant wails. After the atmospheric opener, HG changes pace with Manifestation Of Nightmares. It’s tempo lifts yet it still contains a powerful presence, thanks to a thick guitar sound and icy blasts of percussion. There’s no hint of the tinny sound that sometimes plagues raw black metal.

In terms of melody or treble, it’s probably not going to strike you immediately. Any that is here, is hidden in the depths behind the vocals and the cacophony of instrumentation. Release The Flesh shows that the contrasting high-pitched screams and deep subtle melody works well. The powerful tones of HG reach a peak during Limbonic Soul. The production doesn’t take away from their raw beginnings, yet adds volume and depth that makes the whole record sound more endearing. I find that some bands make their sound as unapproachable as possible but HG doesn’t give off that impression. 

The drums that lead you into closing song Scepter Of The Shadows Of Death harness the use of echo, that’s organic and warm sounding. Much like Infinite Black, this song is a slow-burner but it envelopes the rest of the MLP with the sort of menacing darkness that would only be right in the coldest corners of our universe. I think that releases like this really are important because they trace the early steps of bands and bring them out into the wider consciousness. As long as NWN! and fellow labels continue to unearth hidden gems like Harvest Gulgaltha, the extreme metal landscape will become richer and more varied. Onlookers and outsiders may not see that progression, but from where I’m sitting it’s plain to see.

You can stream I via the NWN! bandcamp page here:-



The LP is available on black and is limited to 250 copies. You can purchase it here - http://www.nwnprod.com/shop

Harvest Gulgaltha Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/harvestgulgaltha
Nuclear War Now! Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuclear-War-Now-Productions

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