Internal Harvest – Exit Signs [2011]

Band: Internal Harvest
Album: Exit Signs
Release year: 2011
Genre: Dark Metal

Australia is a country with one of the most unknown metal scenes in the world which is actually a huge shame considering the quality of the metal that comes from down under. Internal Harvest are another top quality band from the Australian metal underground. “Exit Signs” is the latest full-length from these Aussie dark metallers.

The melodically slow introduction of “Quagmire” begins the album. Without any form of warning, the track turns stout and stormy, whilst lethargic at the same time. The vocals are raw and savage but the drum work needs improvement as it doesn’t seem to fit in with the guitars or vocals. The song, overall, does set a very gloomy and dark-hearted mood, something that might not be liked by all but it’s still a genius effect of the track. Towards the end of the track, the drum work improves greatly, bouncing off the guitars extremely well. “Field Of Thorns” has a faster tempo but still brings along a very melancholy atmosphere with it. The drum work is more acute and well composed and the bass riffs – clearly audible – sound simply amazing. The vocals are still raw, angsty and untamed – though in some section they do sound slightly whiney. The clean, droning vocals make the track sound slightly doom metal-ish as well – A surprisingly decent aspect of the song.

“Blinded By Heart” is different sounding in its introduction, as it mixes clean and slow riffs and soft drums with feral screams. The mood generated by this song is a sombre and sorrowful one, making the listener’s heart literally feel heavy with remorse – Very few bands these days can pull that off so kudos to Internal Harvest for that. The tempo and weight of the song increases towards the halfway point and the vocals become more savage. “Crumbling Within” starts with a synth-guitar combo introduction which is soon joined by the drums. Though a soft beginning, the atmosphere it generates is powerful. The vocals, clean and droning, add to the atmosphere and the mood set by the song. The immensity of the track escalates when it turns heavier. The riffs become rougher and the vocals more hateful, though the drum stay soft. The soft and clean guitar section makes a reappearance towards the end of the track as well.

“The Illusion Of Life” starts with strange sound effects and odd sounding guitar parts. The track turns heavy yet slow after about a minute of sound effects. The vocals sound bloodthirsty and beefy. After a while, the track begins to become uninteresting though it is clearly well composed and the sound effects do add a unique sound to it. The clean vocals keep a doom metal essence about the track as well. It does, however, become more exciting towards the end – A little too late though. The final song on the album is the title track “Exit Signs”, beginning slow like some of the previous tracks and partially muted. However, the listener need not despair as the track does get heavier. The vocals are still raw and untamed and the drums work well the guitar sections. The increase of tempo is brilliant as it gives the track more untameable energy and aggression whilst keeping a certain sombre mood as well. The clean vocals are well used on this track as well, adding to the despairing feeling of the song.

Australia may not be noted for its metal but with a band like Internal Harvest on the scene it may soon be known for its metal scene rather than its kangaroos. The album is a different one compared to most metal albums these days as it mixes black, doom and progressive metal with some very experimental ideas as well. It works mostly throughout the album though there are some parts where it just does not want to seem to work – But this is no fault of the band’s as some things just can’t work together at all. It will be interesting to see how Internal Harvest carry on this unique sound found on “Exit Signs”.

4/5

Nico Davidson

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