HARLOTS - The Woman You Saw Is The Great City That Rules Over The Kings Of The Earth

Harlots - The Woman You Saw Is The Great City That Rules Over The Kings Of The Earth

9 songs
40:38 minutes
***** **
Feeling Faint


Imagine a band coming from Indiana and Ohio, then releasing a CD on a tiny label in Minnesota. Most people living outside the USA probably can't even figure out where to find these places on the map, and the strangeness that encompasses this album even makes it more intriguing. The long album title is borrowed from the Revelation of John, the concluding book of the New Testament, and proof that acidheads lived already way back in the early days of the Common Era. So the Harlots have a knack for weird revelation horror stories, but their web address shows that we are not in presence of bible thumpers, just plainly ordinary crazy guys.

To describe their effort can be easy and hard at the same time. Unbelievably technical and complicated progressive metal core would be the shortcut, but as it is, Harlots are not just rehashing the recipes of Dillinger Escape Plan and Between The Buried And Me, but try to craft a more personal work, with lots of unheard of influences, showing in a surplus of atmospheric instrumental compositions. As it is, the album is divided into three separate chapters, and only five of the nine songs have vocals, but the pieces flow into each other, making for a coherent whole.

In a parallel world, this album could have been a true milestone of the genre (as the label likes to claim), but there are two reasons that prevent me from giving a higher grade. First of all, but not so bad as nearly half of the songs are instrumental, the vocals are not too convincing. The highly progressive musical approach would have deserved a more charismatic vocalist instead of this mostly guttural barking somewhere between grind core and Mike Patton experimentalism. While the vocals can be dismissed as a matter of taste, the production is an entirely different thing. Yes, this is not a major label or big independent release, but I am not accustomed of my speakers doing weird sounds at moderately loud volume. As the CD is purchased for a really low price, comes with a beautifully designed cover and adds a neurotic ambient aspect to the more general metalcore sound, you should give these young guys a listen. And who knows, with a better ear for production next time, they might be even in for a piece of genius.

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