(By Santiago Gutierrez, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky took shape in 2011, and since then, have delivered four solid full-length albums, all the while delivering top-notch post-black metal.
The band was formed by multi-instrumentalist M.S. (also of Bifrost) and vocalist J.J. (also of Karg and Seagrave). Their current release, ‘Arson’, comes courtesy of Germany’s Art of Propaganda Records, who have released all their earlier full-lengths to date. ‘Arson’ is also available as a box set edition, which includes a bonus Graveyard Lovers “Manifesto” cover track.
Harakiri for the Sky, not unlike Motorhead or AC/DC, are one of those bands where you know stylistically what you’re going to get. They stick with a formula that works wonders for them. That is not to say that their music is bland or repetitive, far from it, they always find interesting ways to keep your ear occupied.
The piano intro to album opener “Fire, Walk With Me” soon gives way to their trademark post-black metal sound. Lyrically hitting hard with lines such as “This will never be about life, always about love and death, these are the only things that make me write, the things that let me bleed, that let me starve.” A proper way to summarize what’s to come lyrically on the rest of the album. “The Graves We’ve Dug” somewhat slows the pace down a notch, yet still hits hard lyrically.
When “You Are the Scars” follows, I realize what makes this album just that much better than the previous three. The drum work here is quite impressive. Kudos to M.S. and J.J. for bringing in Kerim Lechner from Septic Flesh to flesh out (no pun intended) the sound. His technique brings a unique signature and quality throughout this record. Here’s hoping they invite him back for their next offering.
The acoustic guitar work on “Heroin Waltz” comes courtesy of special guest Bernth Brodtrӓger of the band Seiler und Speer. Like Lechner, Brodtrӓger is a welcomed addition to the feel on this track, as he provides an overall depth and style to the arrangement.
Halfway through this album, I found a minor gripe. The bass work on Arson is a bit buried in the mix. I realize this as soon as the bass groove to “Tomb Omnia” hits, a groove that is certainly a highlight to the dynamic tempo of this tune. Depression rears its head as the theme on “Stillborn”, which features a pleasant somber breakdown that speaks to the soul.
“Voidgazer” closes the record strong with arguably the best track on the offering. Lyrically stating “So let me go, let me leave! I never meant to stay anyway”. Well here’s hoping they decide to come back soon with another album.
No song on here, besides the bonus cover song “Manifesto” (which they do a great job with), has a running time under eight minutes. However, Harakiri for the Sky manages to keep the listener engaged throughout its more than one hour playing time.
Yes, the song structures seem to follow a similar pattern – with dynamic climaxes, riff patterns, constrained solos, and the vocals have an almost monotone undulation to them, but damn do they know how to put it all together and still manage to keep the listener engaged. Check them out if you enjoy bands like Trna and Veldes.
‘Arson‘ – Track List:
1. Fire, Walk With Me
2. The Ggraves We’ve Dug
3. You Are The Scars
4. Heroin Waltz
5. Tomb Omnia
Harakiri for the Sky (2012)
III: Trauma (2016)