The Knell
Harm

With some foreign releases under their belt, Israel’s Total Rust Music now turn towards their own country by way of the debut album from The Knell, and the fact this record was mastered by Greg Chandler of the UK’s Esoteric, should give you some idea as to Harm’s style. Rumbling, plodding classic doom/death metal with some Church-y synths is the order of the day, and for fans of classic My Dying Bride and especially Pantheist, this is a no-brainer.

Though a little rough around the edges, especially when the band tries to crank things into a more death metal chug, the band’s raw homage styled delivery to their peers is undeniably well done. Deep growls litter painfully slow, depressive riffs that aren’t too patience testing (the songs range from 5 to 8 minutes), with the occasional atmospheric injection (acoustics/keys) and slightly forced tempo change. No beautifully rending Finnish melodies or layering just straight up, cavernous doom with no ray of light or hope whatsoever.

Each of the 7 tracks are pretty similarly paced and rendered, but none really standout out-which is both good and bad as none of them suck either. The aptly titled “Angel Sobbing”, “Jerusalem Frost” and the title track, all do a good job of creating a somber, heaving mood without too much off the wall stuff or tangents (like “Hey we are from Israel” Ethnic elements), just pure sonic sadness and heft.

Pretty solid, promising stuff from a surprising origin, and a band, label I will continue to keep an eye on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 21st, 2007

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