Harlott - Origin - (9.5/10)
Published on April 18, 2014
While the Australian thrash scene has developed into something fairly intriguing as of late, I don’t think they truly had a ‘star’ in their ranks until I listened to the debut from Harlott. Origin is not an original kind of record as it most certainly wears its influences right up on its sleeves, but I’ll be damned if it’s not a well executed thrashing good time. It’s high speed, vicious, and has just enough of a modern style to make sure it’s not simply another ‘throwback’ record that rides on the coattails of yesteryear.
It’s quite fitting that while it’s a debut called Origin, that the record most certainly presents homage to some of the origins of the thrash genre while remaining fairly modern and fresh in its worship. For a solid comparison, one has to look no further than something of a cross between new Kreator with less harsh vocals and a penchant for bigger riffs than melodies. In fact, Harlott’s ridiculous amount of riffing is essentially what sells this album from beginning to end. With a nice crunchy tone, these Australians unleash tsunami waves of riffs with ridiculous thrash consistency. Twelve songs and I don’t skip a single one because of the riffing.
On top of that, the band has a knack for impeccable song writing. Diversity is not necessarily their main objective and outside of a melodic intro on “Hierophobia” or the rather groove oriented fist-pumping tempo of “Regression” the band most certainly sticks to that fast paced one-two punch of snarling vocals with a touch of melody and snap pacing. This is exactly what the band is successful at with some Teutonic influence in the chaotic drum work and spitting vocals and rarely did I want to hear them do anything outside of that.
For Harlott, Origin is a strong debut that makes a very large foundational statement. Australia is proving to be the breeding grounds for some of the best of the upcoming thrashers and Origin in the kind of record to make sure that all thrashers around the world hear them loud and clear. It’s not experimental. It’s not watered down. Origin is the definition of modern thrash. It’s vicious, catchy, and never misses.