Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Black Heart Rebellion : Har Nevo

My expectations of this band going into listening to "Har Nevo" were wildly off from what this Belgian band put to record and to be honest its a pleasant surprise as everything I had read led me to believe at best this going to be a hardcore version of Isis.

There is a Neurosis like rumble which builds its tension over the songs like a storm cloud particularlly the opening song "Avraham" which takes most of its time building for the release and for some reason this might bug me as a general rule in this instance it's pulled of. The vocals are the first unexpected surprised I figured they would go the way of most post rock either screamed or the unaffected monotone, but here they have a very Nick Cave quality.

"the Woods I run From" falls in a similar gray area which more often than not gets the post rock tag, granted their is a cinematic quality to the sonic scape being crafted here which it's closest neighbor until the vocals set in you be Godspeedyoublackemperor, but in equal portions I hear Swans and the Birthday Party. Psychedelic could also apply as it does carry like a early Pink Floyd vibe perhaps if the were covering the End by the Doors. Dynamically it gets heavy without being metal, it's a very dark and beautiful thing.

The albums dips into a lazy dirge on "Circe" which isn't the albums strongest song but I think they succeeded at the sound they were going for it just doesn't happen to resonate with me, though when Swans do this sort of thing the vocals are a more prominent component. However it picks back up in a big way on "Animalesque" which build into a tribal Neurosis like thing and th vocals get more aggressive tauntly almost a growl. This has th Hungarian minor scale feel I really latch onto. The keep tense without the release where you expect it, it's the unresolved
Builds that work really well when just letting the album play all the way through.

The percussion carries many unique experimental qualities these are highlighted on the beginning of " Crawling Low and Eating Dust". Another long building intro which doesn't go where assume it will I think the vocals on this song are the most powerful performance on the album. they go to show you can deliver a highly emotional performance with out falling into being Emo... Or rather what the general publics associates with the term , which is a more emasculated teenage whine. The vocals are still very Nick Cave, though if you can imagine even darker in tone. The guitar one this song compliments the vocals well, when the howl comes they don't take the easy way out by having to stomp on their distortion pedals. The line " sinner man , I've gone cold to you" is an obvious wink to their influences.

The chain gang swing of "Ein Avadat" establishes this as another Murder ballad. Normally I wouldn't like something paced this way, but the blues mixed with the drone is unique. The vocals begin to steal the show again at the midway point. Oddly I can hear some of the hardcore influence in this one , I know they were a hardcore band for their first album and this is a major forward atop I their evolution.

"Gold and Myrrh" is a weird mix of eastern influence with maybe that Syd Barrett era Floyd again, think"Set the control for the heart of the sun." the percussion veers off into more experimental territories, this is a song that will grow on me as it comes so far out of left field form the songs on the album side for the angular post- rock drift it takes on.

The album closer "Into the land of another" Has a morose Swans type feel, though it could also be the Nick Cave coming back, this song has a banjo and a lot space in the verse, the chorus is more of a build up rather than what adhere to a typical format. This is another that doesn't have to punch to grab me at first but I can tell its a grower not a show-er. In fact theirs no a riff on here trying to be phallic compensation. The heavy ending to this still floats under the aggression of the vocals, which once again don't take on the typical , modern metal screaming.

The one weak song was balance out by the rest of the albums strong points so I don't have a problem giving this a 10 in hopes it continues to grow on me. I hope this album doesn't turn into the years best kept secret as it deserves a larger audience. They have a bit of a buzz from the corners of the underground experimental metal scene ...but they are better than most of the bands Brooklyn Vegan pimps and slay the Metal Sucks type fare with a dark beauty that in its honesty of bleakness is heavier than you lowest tuned djent.

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