Ark of the Covenant
Self Harvest

Facedown records was in a bit of a slump in late 2012 and early 2013, but responded recently and mightily with Hope for the Dying‘s Aletheia, the heavier than thou release from Those Who Fear, Christian metal’s possible savior in the new Extol reunion, and this, the almost as punishing but slightly more experimental second effort from Connecticut’s Ark of the Covenant.

Whereas Those Who Fear were a Christian The Acacia Strain, Ark of the Covenant appear to be a Christian version of Vildjharta (especially production/bass wise), taking the burly, simple throes of their debut EP and adding a few progressive, distorted, moody sprinkles and synths and a further development of more djent-y, angular heft.

This isn’t quite as bash your head in, prolapse your bowels heavy as Those Who Fear, but it’s close, modeling Sleeping Giant levels here and there and and at times really lets loose with a devastating rumbling, low end, menacing presence. I mean about three minutes into opener “Abandoned”, my speakers begged for mercy. And there are numerous other bass dropping times like the start of “Blind Man” (with a couple of gorgeous segues), D beat assault that starts “Withered”, and huge march that starts “Fakes”, and mid song beat down in “Sentient”.

And unlike many of their peers, with the exception of dramatic closing piano piece “Famine” there are no blatantly sermon-y segments or grace filled introspective choruses or ballads (other than a few quiet experimental bits). Self Harvest rumbles, lurches and lopes for its 30 minute beatdown, even if there are a few more hardcore-ish moments (gang chants etc) vocally here and there. That does not stop Ark of the Covenant from being the second Christian band to utterly crush the wimpy perception of Christian metal in 2013.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 20th, 2013

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