Harlots Betrayer

After a handful of well-received indie releases, Harlots seem poised to blow up in a ridiculous way with Betrayer. While the elements are hardly original, Harlots’ fiery combo of post-metal meanderings, spastic noisecore and punishing Meshuggah mosh is delivered free of filler or mainstream pandering. The production is rich and full but not too clean — there is grit to the instrumental tone that hasn’t been balanced this well with crunch in the genre since Norma Jean’s debut. Christian Fillippo’s vocals alternate between the expected spazz/grind screech and a meatier tone reminiscent of Mastodon, occasionally accompanying their more meditative moments with a melodious shout, à la Isis’s Aaron Turner. Musicianship-wise, the band are firing on all cylinders and more than make up for their tendency to wear their influences on their sleeve. What you’re picturing is no doubt a hell of a lot less inspired than the record is in reality. This is highly recommended for those who’ve drifted away from this style of music and are looking for something hefty to reintroduce them. (Lifeforce)