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May 2009
Released: 2008, Battlegod Productions
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

A dose of thrashy black metal from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, comes under the Harkonin moniker. The band has been around since 2002 and already released 3 full-length albums and one live album, so we are necessarily not talking about any black metal rookies here.

GHANIMA, the band´s 3rd opus in order, which was originally released in 2006 by Chunks of Meat Records, has now been reissued by Battlegod Productions from down under – with 7 bonus tracks taken from the band´s 2nd album, titled SERMONS OF ANGUISH, as remixed versions.

Harkonin breaks from the standard formula of black metal by building their sound around a more thrash type of approach, in which aggressive and violent thrash riffs create a nice backbone for their blistering and fast black metal attacks. In fact, if you castrate Jason´s (Barron) vocal parts completely away from their songs, what you have left after that, is basically a firm foundation for thrash metal which any violent sounding thrash band would be happy about.

And I am, too because the guys in Harkonin do not seem to give a shit what the latest news about tagging along on the black metal bandwagon in 2009 are. They are marching through their own tiny warpath - heads and fists raised high and proudly in the air, doing their best to make a deadly impact on their listeners, and even succeeding in it quite well, too I think. They are probably not the most talented musicians in the world of metal, but with Jason´s vicious and acid black metal snarls (do I hear some Pete Helmkamp of Angel Corpse vibe in his vocal outbursts?) - melted together with quite a whirlwind of raging thrash/black metal fire and brimstone, the songs on GHANIMA offer a pretty pleasing package for your ears all in all.

I´m not that convinced about the remixed bonuses on this release though, even if that cover of Whiplash´s “Last Man Alive” sounds pretty bad ass in the hands of our 4 fellows from St. Louis.

By all means check out GHANIMA if you want to hear something a bit different from today´s overflowing black metal pool.
Track Listing

01. Mystic Gates of Sorrow
02. The Darkside Calls
03. L.ost C.ause
04. Epitaph
05. Hellspawn
06. Cult of Sin
07. Caligula
08. Nocturnal Rebirth
10. Firechrist*
11. Heksenbrand*
12. Destined to Conquer*
13. Dogs of Lucifer*
14. Three Stars of Fire*
15. Devil's Rain*
16. Last Man Alive**

* Remixed bonus tracks taken from 2005 SERMONS OF ANGUISH album

** Whiplash cover


Jason Barron - Vocals
Matt Coyle - Guitar
Tom Quach - Bass
Clayton Gore - Drums

Other reviews

» Sermons Of Anguish
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Ghanima
by Luxi Lahtinen

Next review: » Harkonin - Sermons Of Anguish
Previous review: » Hark - Crystalline

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