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sabato 13 giugno 2015

Harmorage - Psychico Corrosif

#FOR FANS OF: Heavy Metal
Having never heard these Frenchmen's debut full-length - perhaps I am not at liberty to make comparisons. But one thing I can be certain of, is that the production MUST have been better than this! On my third spin through their sophomore release 'Psychico Corrosif'; all that seems to have sunken in is that I can't hear the drums at all, the guitars are far too mellow and safe, the bass has a sound weird enough to make D.D. Verni blush, and the vocals...well, we'll get to them later. That being accepted, Harmorage are a low-budget, underground heavy metal band - so I'll disregard mixing issues in favour of some quality songwriting prowess...which also seems to be severely lacking. Oh deary me indeed. I would struggle to label this European quartet as 'heavy metal' at all. Far from the icons such as Raven or Saxon who helped shape the genre - Harmorage are akin more to a garage rock band trying their first hand at original material after spending 5 years playing Judas Priest covers. No song has any discernible structure to keep things memorable, but neither does any song have any progressive development to push it to the other extreme. Each track is just, sort of, there. Daniel Chalon's voice really doesn't lend any favours to the sound! There is no catchy melodic vocal line, no gritty punk-esque bark, nor any deep death-like growls. Just a mildly disgruntled Frenchman rambling into a microphone with his best 'tough-guy' attitude, and completely indecipherable lyrics (and my French is pretty good!). At his best, he completely drains the energy out of sections that might have held some potential, such as the chorus in "Scarifié". But at his worst, he sounds utterly hilarious and totally misplaced (see the pre-chorus in "Mon Anarchie"). It's obvious the band tried to inject some atmosphere into this mess with some ambient introductions, such as on "Reveillons Nous!" - but they simply seem like awkward genre mash-ups and, as a result, fall flat. Some of the playing is downright lazy. The drumming on faster tracks like "Je Condamne et J'accuse" is inexcusable by metal standards; and the main riff on "Droit Et Fier" is SO dull in its attempt to be pseudo-thrash, it's embarrassing. Even Merciless Death could do better. These lapses are a great shame, considering how awesome some of the guitar solos can be. Seriously, when he tries, Nicholas Chalon really shreds! Despite some fun gang-shouting sections and the occasional blazing guitar solo - these French wannabes simply aren't worth your time. 'Psychico Corrosif' is messy, unmemorable, and leaves no lasting impact. You're better off baking some funny-shaped bread and occupying your time with its warm, fluffy goodness. I guess I should now apologize for the awful French stereotypes. (Larry Best)

(Self - 2015)
Score: 40