Jagged Vision – Harvest Earth (Retro Futurist)Wednesday, 12th March 2014
Call me crazy, but there is a butt crack that adores the cover of Harvest Earth on the middle left hand side, correct? Perhaps its years of juvenile poop and fart jokes that have slowly riddled the brain, but it just can’t be unseen. It may even be a vampire butt crack, since there are light red outlines of what appear to be teeth below said butt crack. Perhaps the band did this as a Rorschach test for the immature amongst us?
Digression aside, Harvest Earth is the debut album from Norway’s hardcore/stoner/sludge act Jagged Vision, released on Kylesa’s Retro Futurist label. In fact, Kylesa has their hands all over this release, from Philip Cope singing on the track “Spiritual Invasion,” to Cope’s production, to the band’s current tour with said act. In the band’s favor, their brand of stoner material has a harder edge to it than most, wisely focusing on the hardcore element to keep things heavier, with throaty vocals leading the way. In fact, the beginning groove of “No Peace” brings Gojira to mind. There’s plenty of galloping to be found as well, such as on “Shadows Glide.” The guitars have a bit of that typical stoner “fuzz” to them, but they do retain a bit of their own flair throughout.
The rub? Well, most of the tracks do keep to the mid-tempo pacing and the songs seem to start off strong but then fizzle out as the disc progress. By no means are they weak tracks, it just begins to feel a bit more predictable, and the riffs begin to stick out less and less. The intent to keep things more abrasive than the usual stoner/sludge act is commendable and worthy of some kudos, but the songs need a bit more individuality to get them to the top of their game. If they can toss this in next time, there will be plenty of excitement in the air.