Harakiri For The Sky
16th February 2018 – AOP Records
01. Fire, Walk With Me
02. The Graves We’ve Dug
03. You Are The Scars
04. Heroin Waltz
05. Tomb Omnia
Austria isn’t the first country that springs to mind when the subject of black metal arises – I’m not even sure it’d crack the top ten – but since their birth in 2011, Harakiri for the Sky have been doing their darnedest to put Austria on the black metal map – albeit in their own unique way.
Blackened metal as a whole pushes the frost bitten vibe that flows throughout these records but it’s with Arson that Harakiri For The Sky have stepped to the side of this. There is a warmth here that can be felt through the textures that make these offerings somewhat more tactile than you’d expect. Images of Woods Of Ypres can be felt throughout “Fire, Walk With Me” and the melancholia of “Heroin Waltz“. On “The Graves We Dug” that the band really push themselves from their niche and into more sonically dreamlike territory, rather than the nightmare scapes that usually encumber the bands work.
Album finale “Manifesto” may be a cover but the inclusion of clean female vocals and deeply melancholic lyrics add an emotionally cinematic depth to the final act that is a welcome change and a beautiful representation of what the band are capable of when stepping even slightly out of the comfort zone that weighs down many ‘post’ genre bands. More of this please guys!
The existence of Harakiri for the Sky is refreshing, injecting new blood into a tired genre by not relying on its well-trodden tropes and clichés. The production is clear – you can hear everything without a haze of fuzz – and they’ve a penchant for melodies that largely go ignored by other bands of their style. Arson is another solid record from the Austrians, and feels decidedly more focused. In spite of this progress it is clear that they’re capable of great things. This magnum opus is yet to come but it’s exciting to think about.