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Album Reviews : Harlott – Extinction

By on March 28, 2017

harlott extinctionHarlott are arguably the best Thrash metal band in Australia. Actually, I’ll revise that statement. On the back on their 3rd album Extinction, Harlott are the best Thrash metal band in Australia – Their output over the last 5 years has been high quality and prolific, so whilst there are other Aussie Thrash bands making similar waves overseas, I feel like the 3 albums which Harlott have churned out over a relatively short period gives them the edge over their contemporaries. But hey, it’s not a competition.

For me, and I assume many fans of heavy music, thrash metal was the gateway to much heavier styles. Cutting your teeth on the Big 4 before taking the step into death metal is almost a rite of passage! With that said, and considering the nostalgia around Thrash metal, I find it particularly hard not to have a soft spot for a quality thrash metal release. Extinction is exactly that – a damn quality thrash metal release – 12 break neck tracks of a remarkable consistency. The songs on Extinction are quick, even by thrash standards. The riffs are catchy and technical, and Andy Hudson’s machine gun, syncopated vocal delivery style is as sharp as you’ll ever hear.

People will always draw comparisons between Harlott and seminal bands like Slayer and Overkill because there is a clear influence, but Harlott are their own band and have created their own sound. This is no mean feat in a genre where it’s not easy to stand out of the pack. Comparing any band to Slayer is a compliment, but at some point Harlott will have every right to grow tired of the comparisons because their albums can stand on their own two feet.

At this point of an album review I’ll usually throw in my nominees for the best tracks from the album. In this case I could just copy and paste the track listing! #NoFiller. Every single song is bursting at the seams with quality riffs and top shelf playing. The aspect I’ve really come to love about Harlott is the way they can flick a switch to take the feel of the song from super-high-tempo-all-out-thrash and then switch it up to a sort of mid tempo chugging which is purpose made for neck destruction. Anthrax refer to these sections ‘mosh parts’ in their linear notes and Harlott are quickly making this sort of section their calling card.

Harlott’s debut album Origin turned heads and was widely regarded as one of the best Aussie debuts of it’s time. Their follow up Proliferation saw them dominate the Aussie scene and sign a coveted deal with Metal Blade. A subsequent tour of Europe with Annihilator took Harlott to the next level. Hard acts to follow, but Extinction continues to see the band step it up a notch and will elevate Harlott’s standing in the genre.

Thrash Metal as it was intended. The best new release I’ve heard in 2017.

Band: Harlott
Album: Extinction
Year: 2017
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Origin: Australia

About

Chris is a long time metal enthusiast and advocate for Australian heavy music scene. Chris grew up in Perth, Western Australia and is a past member of modern melodeath act Let's Kill Uncle. Currently residing in London, UK.