Friday, 27 July 2012

CD Review: Dead Harvest by This Ending (2009)

The second studio album from Sweden's This Ending, Dead Harvest carves out an intriguing blend of melodic death metal, heavy on controlled double bass pounding, haunting melodies, and Martin Hansen vocals that scratch against abandoned gravel surfaces.

This Ending solidify their identity with an oft-used drum sound best resembling a wooden shutter flapping in a ferocious wind storm. It's an unmistakable signature sound for the band and Fredrik Andersson deploys it on almost every track. Meanwhile, Jesper Lofgren's bass is an aging bulldozer powering its way out of a mud field, using a singularly impressive gear.

This Ending's guitar sounds, courtesy of the Linus Nirbart / Leo Pignon tandem, play on the edge of death metal and its cheerier melodic cousin, finding a level of comfort where some showmanship is required but dark consistency is more valued.

Dead Harvest strikes precious metallic gold on four tracks, Parasites, Army Of The Dying Sun, Dead Harvest and Tools Of Demise reaching impressive peaks of magnificence. Combining the perfect medium-fast tempo with doom laden melodies, thunderous drums and judicious use of those ever-threatening double bass beats, the four tracks pack a suitcase of invaluable metal cargo.

Parasites is the most commanding, the guitars combining machine gun efficiency with the drum-delivered artillery to produce an irresistible force. Army Of The Dying Sun opens with threatening snare drums reminiscent of Scorpions' classic Crossfire, and builds up to a melody caught in two minds between dominance and annihilation. Title track Dead Harvest riffs on the most playfully brooding melody on the album, a dance of death kicking up a loud party at the graveyard. Tools Of Demise is a domineering march down main street, This Ending taking over the city and imposing a 24 hour curfew of dread.

The rest of Dead Harvest is never less than polished but not nearly as memorable. It matters little: there can be no complaints when the bull's eye is punctured on four tries out of ten.


Martin Hansen - Vocals
Linus Nirbrant - Guitar
Leo Pignon - Guitar
Fredrik Andersson - Drums
Jesper Lofgren - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Trace Of Sin - 7
2. Parasites - 10 *see below*
3. Machinery - 7
4. Instigator Of Dead Flesh - 7
5. Delussionists - 7
6. Army Of The Dying Sun - 10
7. Dead Harvest - 10
8. Tools Of Demise - 10
9. Deathtrade - 7
10. The Asylum - 7

Average: 8.20

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Linus Nirbrant and This Ending.
Mastered by Bjorn Engelmann.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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