Our favorite kind of “favorite record” is the one we weren’t planning for. In fact, the majority of our “Year End” lists tend to be built from that. Not anticipated at all. Not on any sort of new year preview. Just a record that seemingly comes out of nowhere and knocks our socks off. Like Harvest by Poison Ruin did.
Grim and downtrodden yet equally ethereal and vibrant with a haunting air surrounding most songs on here, Harvest is an intricate affair that demands your undivided attention when you choose to finally dive in to the diverse musical palette presented all pretty-like on a wax canvas (Or a “digital canvas” but that just sounds weird, doesn’t it?) with “Pinnacle Of Ecstasy” poised to kick it all off with a glimmering gorgeousness that’s a swerve from the ugly that’s to come… but in a good way! By a minute and a half in, guitars ring out like a warning alarm with Mac Kennedy’s gruff vocal delivery reminiscent of early Lee Ving barking underneath the blanket of fuzz and all around ’90’s Alt Rawk buzz combined with aesthetics of both Punk and Post-Punk.
“Tome Of Illusion” shimmers to start before Will McAndrew’s bass enters and veers the track into a riotous new direction that’s fast and frenetic mixing the ghoulish tendencies of early Misfits with Bad Religion’s penchant for polished Punk noise to drive this track into a wild frenzy with “Torture Chamber” entering next and getting its’ Thrash on for a heavy number that rumbles enough to rattle that noodle around in your skull with its’ force thanks in part to Allen Chapman’s primal slamming on the drums.
The title track sparkles and shines before segueing into a mad stomper that grows into an anthem and is a cool kind of recording where, even if you’re listening on your favorite streaming service still sounds like it’s being played on a record player thanks to that ever present hiss heard in the cracks. “Frozen Blood” does nothing to assuage the urgency felt throughout Harvest with another otherworldly atmosphere offset by Kennedy’s monstrous cries leading into an unforgettable romp that leads to the first part of a menacing beastie when “Resurrection I” hits with Kennedy adopting a voice like Jaz Coleman at his most feral mixed with Misfits and TSOL for a majestic heaviness led by Kennedy and Nao Demand’s stirring guitars that flow right into companion “Resurrection II” which is even more in-your-face and a veritable gotDAMN anthem.
“Augur Die” ups the ante yet again with a track that expands on all this nervous energy, waits for it to culminate, then lets it all explode in a minute and a half of solid headbanging, body slamming fervor, “Blighted Quarter” is manic melodious mayhem with this kind of Henry Rollins baritone for the spoken-word verses, and “Bastard’s Dance” is a good ole shredfest and one last, ahem, dance to tear it up before the drawn out instrumental epic “Slowly Through The Dark” closes out your next favorite album.
Harvest descends on April 14th through Relapse Records with pre-orders up now and available for pre-order by heading here. For the latest from Poison Ruin, follow them across the information superhighway by clicking here.
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