February 16th, 2018 marks the official release date of Harakiri For The Sky’s 4th full-length album release - Arson. Hailing from Austria, this post-black metal band has served us once again a relentless, yet melodic, blast-beat filled masterpiece.
Post-black metal as a stylistic genre is typically more experimental and creative than your standard black metal sound, which perfectly describes Harakiri For The Sky’s newest album. They incorporate the sounds of multiple genres outside of black metal like groove, death, melodic death, and depressive black metal which is another definitive part of the post-black metal style. As the album progresses, they do a fantastic job of transitioning between genre sounds while still keeping things extremely cohesive. The entire album is filled with absolutely seamless transitions between aggressive and chaotic double-bass drumming, and rhythmic or melodic groove beats. Typical of black metal, each instrument has a massive sense of size. It feels like the band completely fills the room with sound, wall-to-wall. Listening on speakers, I can only imagine how huge this album would sound through a nice pair of headphones. They also opt for a higher production value unlike many other black metal bands that prefer the classic lo-fi method of recording which puts even more of an emphasis of the idea of mixing sounds, genres, and getting experimental to create something truly artistic.
The songwriting and structure of Arson has a truly enchanting flow to it, where one could easily put on headphones or play it out of their stereo and get completely absorbed by the massive wall of sound Harakiri For The Sky creates, from the opening track "Fire, Walk With Me" all the way through to the ending song, "Manifesto." With song lengths ranging anywhere from over nine minutes to just under eleven minutes long, Harakiri has made it easy to get wrapped up in the story of their music while not giving us something repetitive. They keep their cohesive sound throughout the album but throw in tons of melodic breaks, piano intros, and even some acoustic parts that don’t feel out of place. Everything fits, flows, and they were able to keep it fresh by giving us something more than just black metal by mixing in new sounds - and yet, it doesn’t feel gimmicky.
Each song exhibits a beautiful crescendo with many elements - a gradual increase of sound and energy, and it’s clear that the band has a good sense of buildup & release. In the sixth track, "Stillborn", they do an exceptional job of blending in aspects of depressive black metal while still keeping their signature sound and keeping up the energy. The track begins with a slow, somber sound with lyrics such as “Some days I feel everything at once / Other days I feel nothing at all / So what's worse? / Drowning beneath the waves or dying from the thirst?” and takes its time building up to an increase in intensity where it explodes into a tremendous blast of sadness and chaos.
Ultimately, this album is a success. I think that it would be best experienced listening to it all the way through from beginning to end in one session so that you can allow yourself to absorb the intense lyrics and stories told by these musicians. Whether black metal is your preferred metal genre or not, there is a lot to like here. Arson is very worth your time.
Stream Harakiri For The Sky’s New Album Arson Now At YouTube here