Forged in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, Harlott is the finest example of the thrash metal genre in recent years. Taking their influence from the 80’s bay area thrash scene, and blending it with the Teutonic melody and grit, they focus on high energy, up tempo music with lyrical influence from war, religion, chaos, and the human condition.
When I received the advanced copy of Harlott’s new record from Metal Blade Records entitled Extinction I’ve got to be honest, I had never heard of them. By the end of the album I had already told a good handful or two of friends about them. Harlott is a young band out of Australia that embodies the wonderful sound I grew up with in the mid 80’s of pure Thrash Metal.
Extinction is a record with no fluff and not for the faint of heart. It comes at you swinging like good Thrash music should. I swear if someone put the album on and didn’t tell you who it was, I’m almost positive your guesses would be Exodus? Slayer? Or maybe even Testament. It is that good. I have not heard a pure Thrash band like this in a long, long time.
A few of the tunes that stood out to me are pure gems, and there are plenty to choose from on this album since there are twelve tracks, but here are a few of my favorites.
I’m going to start out with the title track which is the first song on the album “Extinction” Don’t be fooled by the dream like mellow start, because by about the 50 second mark in comes the riff, heavy bass line and some sick drumming. The sound of this song in my opinion is a straight homage to Bay Area Thrash legends Exodus.
Jumping ahead to track four which is called “Whore”, the first thing I thought of was that this song could have made Slayer’s Christ Illusion album. With sick deep groovy riffs and relentless double bass drums that are on point this song has “the sound”. There are also times on this tune as well as the rest of the album that lead singer Andrew Hudson sounds to me like the great Tom Araya.
Moving on to track number eight “Violent Conspirator”, this song is by far the shortest on the album clocking in at only a minute and forty seconds, but the final product if just brutal and relentless. It may be the most aggressive song on the record and left me wanting more. Blazing rhythms and a frantic guitar solo that is just plain and simply awesome. Killer track!
If you have never heard Harlott and consider yourself a Metalhead, you need to. Being a teen in the mid 80’s this is the type of music I sought out, aggressive, fast, and powerful. This young band from Australia has all the makings to be a huge part of the next generation of Thrash, and to help carry the torch from the great forefathers before them. Extinction is a wonderfully made record with plenty of material to headbang too. If you are a Thrasher like me, you need to pick this record up April 7th when it’s released, you will not regret it.
Gene A. Gaona