After the production catastrophe of the debut EP, our Metal samurai Håkan is back with a second EP, this one titled “The Honorable Death”, which is the English translation for hara-kiri. And unfortunately nothing has changed for the better, the production still has the same muddy swamp cave feeling to it that already had bogged down the previous effort, while the songs contained somehow feel as if they are older than before, as they sound rawer and less well put together. Well, when I said that nothing had changed for the better, his clear vocals sound a good bit better.
The foundation still is a mix of Death Metal and a bit of Heavy Metal, enriched with a few influences from Japanese folklore, just in case you had not read my review of the previous effort “The Samurai Metal”. "Harakiri -The Honorable Death-" is the best of the bunch, with the strongly improved clear vocals, overall it unfortunately still is a bit too long, while the Japanese influence is apparent on "Pandemic Scroll", yet less well interwoven with the rest of the composition, and "
Man With Armor Dignified" is, well, mostly fast, but that’s about it. There still is one more song, “Rock Hard, Ride Free", which I at first thought sounded good and different from the rest, which is because it actually is a cover version of the JUDAS PRIEST song, which is pretty well done.
This review may be viewed as short and painful, but unfortunately these four songs do not give me much more meat to sink my teeth into or more memorable moments to write about, so while Håkan has potential, he yet has to find out how to best channel it into outstanding compositions, and please try to get at least a semblance of a production going the next time, because this just doesn’t cut the mustard…
(Online September 12, 2007)