Hiss from the Moat – The Harrier (M-Theory Audio)

Friday, 15th February 2019
Rating: 8/10

Italy’s Hiss from the Moat may not be the most active band in the extreme scene (it’s been six years since their first full-length Misanthropy) but it has been an interesting evolution. Starting out with more deathcore influences in their early years, they’ve morphed into more of a blackened death metal hybrid. The Harrier solidifies this transformation and sees some subtle insertions of the atmospheric variety.

Given that the first thing that tends to come to mind with black/death metal is that of blast beats, there’s no shortage of them on The Harrier. A primal sense of carnage seems to dictate much of this tempo, and it hits just the right spots that it needs to as the title track quickly proves. But it’s also not a full-on blast fest either, with more triumphant mid-tempo riffing a la “Slaves to War” or more slyly melodic/atmospheric touches with “The Allegory of Upheaval,” where some catchy tremolo riffs and moody vibes lend some further diversity to the track. Many times, interludes have a tendency to lull the listener away, but “The Abandonment” works well to break the album up before fatigue can set in.

The set-up and variety that is offered for the style is what keeps things moving, able to provide just the right amount of necessary adrenaline but with more than mere flash to keep you coming back. The riffs are frequently memorable, along with energetic solos, and couple with the bulldozing feeling quite well. In the end though, its really the sneaky melodic work below the surface that captivates after the adrenaline wears off. Hiss from the Moat provide a solid build-up and execution with The Harrier, and should easily be able to win over extreme metal fans.

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