Austrian post-black metal outfit Harakiri For The Sky have a sound unlike any other, their atmosphere as epic and cavernous as their damning instrumentals. Their previous efforts have earned them critical acclaim in the metal world, especially in their home country, and they've certainly kept things up with their new album. Harakiri For The Sky are as grand as ever in Arson, but it does beg the question: is this something that will work forever?
Harakiri For The Sky's sound has always been defined by its atmosphere. Every song is cavernous, the raging guitars and drums echoing out with shoegaze-like production and the vocals grand and guttural. Opening track 'Fire, Walk With Me' throws you right into the fray of the band's thrill, the distorted guitar solo that starts above the mysterious piano quickly leading into a heavy, blistering track with pounding drums. The vocals are vicious, and the guitar melodies are great as the song builds intensely. The same thrills are the highlight of 'You Are The Scars,' the piano element leading into a less heavy but more methodical track with strong melodies, though it does feel a bit long.
Harakiri For The Sky knows well that you can't confine yourself to the traditional boundaries of a genre to make an impact. Arson has a lot of different sounds for the band, all the way to a female vocal in closing track 'Manifesto,' which really takes you off guard even at the last moments of the album. The band's music is dynamic, knowing when to be quiet and when to explode. 'Heroin Waltz' is the most dynamic song on the album, with wonderful clean and slow moments that form a dichotomy with its heavier moments, truly capturing the essence of a dance. There's a big riff change in 'Stillborn' that really adds a lot of energy, while the great guitar melodies of songs like 'Tomb Omnia' add so much flavor to the record. There's a lot of little intricacies in the very structure of Arson that just shows how great Harakiri For The Sky is.
Post-black metal perhaps isn't the most notorious of subgenres in metal, but it really should be. Harakiri For The Sky are as grand as ever in Arson, taking their unique sound a step further and continuing to prove their music is something special. Their cavernous sounds and dark tones are not only epic, but demanding as well, and sure to bring you back time and time again.
Favorite Tracks: Heroin Waltz, Manifesto, Stillborn
Least Favorite Track: Voidgazer
Rating: 77 / 100
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