Generally speaking I don’t get too excited for new releases from bands I’m not familiar with, because let’s face it, there is a lot of bad music out there. When Metal Blade Records sent me a copy of Harlott’s upcoming release entitled Extinction, due out on April 7th , I had the usual lack of excitement, and then I hit play. Holy smokes, what a great thrash album.
Extinction took me back to the summer of 1986 when thrash music ruled the scene. These young lads from Australia have captured a sound that heavy metal has sorely missed from the younger generation. Don’t get me wrong, there are other very talented younger thrash bands out there that I enjoy quite a bit, but Harlott has the sound. These guys and their musical style are paying direct respect to the greats who lay the foundation decades before them such as Exodus, Slayer and Testament.
Trying to pick a few songs to write on was a little tougher than I thought it would be, Extinction has 12 songs, and each one has pieces of greatness. Here are a few I felt were particularly worthy of some kind words.
“First World Solutions” is the second track on this record and it is a fine example of thrash metal. From the first chords and drum rolls this song has it all: neck breaking rhythms, sweet groovy little break downs, powerful vocals. Just past the half way point is where the guitar solos come flying in, lending to the credibility of the monster thrash jam.
The third track on the album is called “The Penitent” and is my personal favorite. With a nice progressive intro, things turn brutal fast. It has that speedy crunchy sound that turns a crowd of people standing around into a ferocious circle pit. “The Penitent” has passion, and the aggression that great thrash music is made of. If Slayer and Testament had a love child in the 80’s, it would have been called “The Penitent.”
Jumping ahead all the way to track eleven, entitled “Parasite,” this particular tune is pretty amazing because as soon as it starts it has a West Coast/Bay Area sound. Being born and raised in Northern California I’m telling you, you just don’t hear a lot of songs like this from the younger bands. Sick grooves, ripping guitar solos, and once again those 80’s style rhythms that put thrash on the map. What a great treat to find on the back half of an album.
It is truly refreshing to see a young band all the way out in Australia carrying on the fine tradition of West Coast thrash. It gives me hope for my kids and generations to come that my favorite genre will be around long after I’m dead and gone. Once again, Extinction comes out on April 7th via Metal Blade Records and metalheads from all over need to take notice of this group and pick this album up. It is truly a great listen and I wish these young Dudes plenty of success in the future.