Harbinger – ‘Compelled To Suffer’ album review

Band: Harbinger 
Album: Compelled To Suffer
Release Date: 17th May, 2019
Label: Self Released

 

 

Review by John

Despite them being around for a few years now, Harbinger are a band I’d not come across before. But, having heard nothing but good things about them over the last few months, and with a new album on the way, it seemed the right time to give them a go.
On this evidence, boy have I been missing out.

‘Compelled To Suffer’ is an absolute juggernaut of an album. Thirteen cuts of pure tech-metal mastery.

‘The Awakening’ starts soft but wastes no time in bringing the heavy, as it fires itself up into a full throttle aural battering. Riff follows deliciously twisty riff, layered with vocals of pure anxiety ridden anger.
Too much for you? Tough, as the album unleashes slab after slab of sheer potent brutality. Guitars scream, breakdowns hammer at the senses. It’s a full on musical masterclass.Take title track ‘Compelled To Suffer’, an uncontrolled detonation of unbridled anger played at a pace that would leave Usain Bolt trailing in its wake, while still finding time to apply copious amounts of groove to the mix. It’s genuinely breathtaking stuff.

There’s so much to love on offer here, but standouts include the slower paced ‘Descendants’, which initially brings a doomier feel to proceedings before exploding into almost full on thrash, the bouncy blast of ‘Covetous Hearts’ and the unrelenting ‘Death Pending’ which even unleashes borderline harmonies into he mix.
The album comes to an end firstly with ‘The Red Flower’, a more bare bones offering than what has come before, but no less the better for it, before fading out on the ethereal instrumental coda of ‘Entropy’. At which point, you’re left to gather your thoughts on what you have just witnessed.

I’m not sure there are enough superlatives in the English language to adequately sum up ‘Compelled To Suffer’. Around a month ago, ‘Empath’ was looking untouchable as album of the year. Now, suddenly, it has some real competition in the form of possibly the finest full on metal album you will hear this year.
Buy it. Digest it. Love it. Tell your friends. A technical metallic masterpiece

 

10 out of 10

 

 

Track Listing:
01. The Awakening
02. Healer / Deceiver
03. Celestial Being
04. Compelled To Suffer
05. The Dance Of Species
06. Descendants
07. The Fear Of Sorrow
08. Desperation Dear
09. Covetous Hearts
10. The Cleansing
11. Death Pending
12. The Red Flower
13. Entropy