By – Kristi Houk
Recommended if You Like: SST catalog, TSOL, Wipers
New Day Rising
Never judge an album by its cover. Case in point: Härvest, the latest release from Philadelphia post-punk, dungeon metal band, Poison Ruïn. Upon first look, I wasn’t sure I would have much to relate to with this record. The color palette is mustard gas green and black with what appears to be the grim reaper wielding a scythe. Think Children of the Corn. Admittedly, I was scared which may be precisely the point. But after giving it a listen, I realized it’s an album for our times. Härvest is the band’s third full-length and first release on Relapse Records, the much respected underground metal label.
Härvest is a dark commentary on modern life told through low-key fantasy imagery. Call it a revolt, an uprising of the working class, a battle cry. The low-fi production is notable for its nod to early SST bands like Hüsker Dü and The Descendents. “Pinnacle of Ecstasy” opens the 11 song opus with a brooding synth show and crows signaling the end times. It’s desolate, dirty and especially cathartic when the guitar kicks in: “Rot/Face down in the gutter/Covered in flies/Covered in shit/Some pitiful sum gained and spent/This is what you always wanted, isn’t it?” Take that capitalist society! Burn it down and start over! Speaking of fire, near the end of the track, you can hear a siren’s wail in the distance.
The title track proves to be the winner here. Flooded with a solemn keyboard melody that dives straight into the low grunt and rumble of the bass and drums. Anthemic, cinematic and full of rage. It’s arguably the most melodic track on the record and at times reminiscent of The Ramones. A steady beat, with big emotions and fist pumps to the sky.
“Well, this is our harvest
This is the fruits we bear.
Siloed for a profit
Or dying on the vine.
Isn’t this our harvest?
Well, isn’t this our feast to share?
Wiser ones are asking themselves
Am I swinging this scythe for someone else?”
I, for one, am ready for the revolution.
Out now on Relapse Records!
Stand Out Tracks: “Pinnacle of Ecstasy,” “Härvest,” “Auger Die”
Written by: kristi houk
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