Review: Black Harvest – Sun Across the Field

First thing to mention about Black Harvest from Lowell, Mass is that calling this project an “atmospheric black metal” project is such an understatement. Their technical song writing has fantastic elements of atmospheric, progressive, and folk fusion melodies, that giving them a simple genre devalues the ingenious music. The progression throughout their songs is so chaotically brilliant, it feels like an orchestrated motion picture score to a very violent religious war movie written by the greatest minds of extreme metal music. An intense original project that paints a gorgeous yet brutal painting.

In 2020, the year everything went spiraling down, their new album Sun Across the Fields is a blistering fantastic release of empowering soulful riffs. The songs are packed with a fantastic and unique blend of time signatures. Very diversative and fails to bore which is especially impressive for 3 songs, each ranging around 10 minutes long. Yet each song is such an intense, brutal, ballot, filled with dark, Shakespearian lyricism that it takes you on a rhythmic voyage into war. “So life has prepared you well, for sitting safe behind walls, using bodies of men as shields, as whips when shields wont do. Hide until the world is quiet, hide as the lights go out, the songs disappear.” (from the song, “The Herald King”) The vocals remain in a “true kult” style of the first wave of black metal, harsh crisp fries, like the burning smoke of a church inhaled in their lungs; an absolute classic vocal style, and Black Harvest keeps it fresh and modern.

Black Harvest definitely keeps the old school 90’s blacken death metal sound fresh and alive. Their sound is very much like Death during their later Sounds of Perseverance era but blends topics and the style of bands like Enslaved or Dark Funeral. Their stamina is impressively consistent and the abilities of each instrument to play incredibly fast for the duration past 10 minutes is magnificent. The impact of work Black Harvest produces for the Lowell metal community is too important to be ignored.  Another personal favorite of mine is their 2014 album Adject. To any fans of Quo Vadis, Satyricon, Death and Obscura, I would highly recommend checking out Black Harvest’s discography.

Key track: “The Herald King”

 – Paul Zulla

Featured photo by Bliss Clemmer Green