Harbinger - Doom on You
Planet Metal
Old Schoold Heavy/Speed Metal
8 songs (35:47)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Stefan
Archive review

Everything in Illinois' Harbinger's debut screams old school heavy metal. For starters, the artwork looks like we're still in 1982, granted, it's not pretty but it fits the content of the album so well that it just works. Then, the production. Raw, dirty, screaming just like Rage or Tyrant early albums did sound and, once again, it fits what this young band has to offer which is pure, raw and true fucking heavy/speed metal! From Drivers to Hell and its fake live intro to Harbinger, there's not a single note here to help you notice that this is, in fact, a 2009 release.

Surprisingly enough, while so many bands would have sounded like they ripped off the "great all ones" from their riffs and beats, Harbinger remains fresh and display an honesty rarely seen in such a retro kind of act. Even when the band slows things up a bit (on The Dark Ages for example) they stay true to what made 80's heavy metal so great: great riffs, great vocals, silly lyrics and killer lead guitars. In short, it's everything a metalhead can dream of: galloping tempo, double guitars, high-pitched but still very much masculine vocals (thanks to Matt War, also in the thrash act Wastelander), and, to solidify it all and make it even more awesome, a solid rhythm section. What’s more, the band knows how craft great heavy/speed metal songs the way too few still do. They also have that punkish "je-ne-sais-quoi" which made DiAnno's Iron Maiden so unique.

Influences? There sure is an early Iron Maiden touch to the guitars and the overall tone of the record leans towards the heavier bands from the NWOBHM which will please all those who, like me, think that scene gave us about the best metal ever made.

With a better production and an equally good songwriting, their second album might have very well been what we've been expecting for so long: a work of art displaying the return to the values of what real Heavy Metal should sound like. Hélas, according to our very own Holy_Terror (aka David Ruiz who, by the way was one of the furious axemen and did an awesome job at it) Harbinger called it quits.

In its happy imperfection, this little furious one of a winner should appeal those who love Demon's Court in the Act, Angel Witch's ST and, generally, credible retro-heavy metal which is not something one comes across too often. (Updated version of my blog's review)

Killing Songs :
Drivers to Hell, The Dark Ages, Black-Hearted Woman, Poser Patrol
Stefan quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Harbinger that we have reviewed:
Harbinger - Rock Your Face In reviewed by Aaron and quoted no quote
Harbinger - Demo reviewed by Aaron and quoted no quote
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