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Album Reviews : Signal The Firing Squad – Earth Harvest

By on January 13, 2011

Young Sunshine Coast quintet Signal The Firing Squad have been tearing up venues across Queensland consistently over the last couple of years, and while their EP The Beginning might have taken a couple of hints from the more thrashy/At The Gates style metal, their first full length Earth Harvest has shown a musical evolution into much more heavier, technical and aggressive entity.

The experience of playing countless local shows and bigger support slots is evident, with their immense drumming and razor sharp guitar work hugely impressive, but it never over-complicates the tunes – something which seems to plague a lot of similar bands trying to turn up the technicality in their music.

After the intro track “Pre-Destruction”, “Origins” demolishing rhythms drive the track along at a lethal pace, and a ridiculously tight middle section shows off the high level of musicianship. “3R453r” features a hint of Behemoth like darkness, with the twisted sounded bridge gives way to a breakdown of apocalyptic proportions, meanwhile the powerhouse “Overdose” highlights the outstanding drum work from Ryan Atkin with unique fills and blasts covering the song. Frontman Kyson Shepherd’s low growls are devastating, but his tortured high screams may put off a few listeners – and of course some will be discouraged to listen because of the breakdowns, which to be honest is a fairly lame excuse.

Recorded locally at RTD Studios, the production from Matt Shorter is nothing but outstanding, dispelling any lingering myths that a band needs to have a massive budget and travel overseas to create a great sounding record, as every drum hit is bright and crisp, while the guitars roar over the top of them. The closing “Adapting to Genocide” is chock full of mammoth grooves and furious fretwork, not to mention vocalist Shepherd’s hate filled vocals and lyrics, but the as the song finishes and the album comes to an end, the record’s short length (under half an hour) is a tad frustrating.

Combining the groove and breakdowns of modern bands such as Whitechapel and Despised Icon, with the technicality of acts like Decapitated, Origin and Cryptopsy, Signal The Firing Squad have captured that often elusive ‘best of both worlds’ sound of modern death metal. Earth Harvest is an awesome release from one of the rising talents in the Australian metal scene, and with a bit of luck their hard work will pay off big time in 2011. 8/10

Band: Signal The Firing Squad
Album: Earth Harvest
Year: 2010
Genre: Deathcore/Death Metal
Origin: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Label: Skull and Bones Records

Track listing:

1. Pre-Destruction
2. Origins
3. Overdose <- Reviewers Choice
4. Birthing the Naught
5. 3R453r
6. Schematics of a Massacre
7. Obliterations of the Ages
8. Drawn and Slaughtered
9. Adapting to Genocide


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.