Released: 2014, Season of Mist
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Mitch Harris might be the linchpin to noisemongers like Napalm Death, Righteous Pigs, Defecation, Meathook Seed, and Regurgitation, but he’s also got a pretty esoteric side to his musical musings as well. Enter Menace, Harris’ first real solo outing since Meathook, but unquestionably his most accessible collection of compositions to date. A sort of steampunk/anime driven progressive metal output, Menace is the pendulum swinging distinctly in the opposite direction of Harris’ day jobs. Melodic, dreamy, catchy, and quick to drill into your cerebral cortex, Menace is a unique ensemble that defies preconceptions, but will have you humming along to the tunes well after the CD has stopped.
The opening “I Live With Your Ghost” is an excellent lead in to the album, and I’d highly suggest checking out the video promo on YouTube to really get a sense of context. Subsequent tracks like “Painted Rust”, “To the Marrow” and “Everything is Nothing” merge minimalist concepts with dreamy soundscapes interspersed with industrial elements and sweeping verses. Couple that with the fact that Menace’s recording lineup also features drummer extraordinaire Derek Roddy, Napalm’s Shane Embury, and Dragonforce’s Frédéric Leclercq, and you’ve got a pretty formidably diverse team executing against an already diverse body of work. But Menace is absolutely Harris’ brainchild, and though at times his vocal phrasing gets a bit weary and the rhythms redundant, the overall presentation keeps IMPACT VELOCITY engaging – you’re never 100% sure where the track is going to take you, but you’re pretty sure you wanna go for that ride.
Hands down – I’ll take an album like IMPACT VELOCITY over any predictable noisegrind album any day of the week. The pursuit of the unknown is always much more fulfilling than the predictable, and IMPACT VELOCITY is an enjoyably unique album if you’re willing to stick with it. It’s a musical side of Mitch Harris that we’ve yet experienced, but damned if the guy doesn’t know how to craft a captivating tune, grindcore, prog rock, or whatever in between. Get out of your comfort zone and give this a shot, IMPACT VELOCITY is available now through Season of Mist.