Harakiri For The Sky is an Austrian post-black metal band. The duo consists out of a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter M.S. and vocalist and lyricist J.J. The band has released three full-length records since it’s founding in 2011 and each of them has been a success. I had personally never heard of the band, so this was my first album. The drums in this release were taken care of by no other than really talented Kerim “Krimh” Lechner instead of a drum machine. Yes indeed, that is the drummer of ScepticFlesh. With a name like that, I couldn’t really refuse to write a review of this album.
The opening track on “Arson” is “Fire, Walk With Me”, a fast paced song that already sets the mood for how the rest of the album is going to sound like. With its intricate guitar work, it’s a strong opener for the album. “Fire, Walk With Me” already defines the fine craftsmanship of the duo. The same can be said for the other songs, “You Are The Scars” starts out more softly, but after a while turns into a true masterpiece, with the most interesting atmosphere. The song is about broken relationships and the void that stays there when people leave. “Heroin Waltz” has been talked about by J.J. as well, where he mentioned that the song is not primarily about heroin or doing drugs inherently, but also about the aspiration to find warmth in life and the search for something that makes you feel complete. That life feels like a continuous downward spiral, almost making it impossible to find this warmness and equanimity, is something that is truly audible in this song. For me this makes “Heroin Waltz” my personal favorite. All songs are very lengthy and it’s thus almost surprising the last track, a cover of “Manifesto” by Graveyard Lovers, feels the most surprising track on the album, to begin with the song only lasts about 5 minutes, there is female clean vocals present, which complement J.J.’s voice very nicely. A nice surprise to end the album with.
The switch from a drum machine to a session drummer and then such a skillful one, was definitely something that lifts up the quality of the sound even more. I was promised already early on that this album is one of the best releases of 2018, seeing that 2018 hasn’t been going on that long, I was curious about this statement. Can it really be an album that I love so much that it will stick with me for another 11 months? The album, sure is great, I am not the biggest fan of post-metal, as many of those shoegazing albums, always manage to get mixed in with my background, this album doesn’t get lost in the void of background noise, I have paid attention to every note and I can keep my attention throughout the whole album. There are some nice surprises in the atmosphere, as it is really beautifully crafted, but also more importantly well balanced out. It’s more than just about the atmosphere, there is certain hooks and twists that keep the album interested as it goes. The band has a very raw, edgy, interesting sound that has developed more and more over time and has become something really worth the while. So, even if 2018 still has an awful lot of days until it comes to its end, this might just be one of the better albums that will be released!
1. Fire, Walk With Me
2. The Graves We’ve Dug
3. You Are The Scars
4. Heroin Waltz
5. Tomb Omnia
8. Manifesto (Graveyard Lovers cover)
M. S. – all instruments
J. J. – vocals
Kerim ‘Krimh’ Lechner – session drums