Harkonen Grizz

After helping to break the current trend of progressive metallic hardcore with releases by the likes of Cave In (before the rock), Converge and Drowningman, not to mention Botch, in recent years Hydrahead has shifted towards a noisier, slower, heavier metallic style of musical malevolence (Cable, Knut, Keelhaul) and Harkonen is another superb offering in that vein. While it is debatable whether these buffeting acts will have the same impact on the underground that Hydra Head's roster had in the late '90s, they are no less important and challenging. Harkonen's Grizz is a five-song CD/EP version of their Grizz seven-inch (also released on Hydra Head) with two new songs, "Townache" and "Hey You Millionaires, Get Out of that Garbage." Heavily influenced by the likes of (old) Melvins, Clutch and Jesus Lizard (the holy trinity of noise/sludge rock), Harkonen also bears a striking resemblance to Scissorfight, just not as rock in their attack, offering a darkly oppressive wall of sound dirge laden with discordant noise and slow, heavy riffs that relentless build and buffet. Mostly mid-paced and crushing, Harkonen jump tempos with "Kildow's Song" before once again succumbing to the dirge, their favourite way to punish. While Harkonen's Grizz EP is a sufficiently heavy affair, it remains to be seen whether they could pull off a full-length without more variance in tempo and structure and the inclusion of more varied influences. (Hydra Head)