It’s been quite a while since 2013’s Misanthropy was released, but it made a very good impression on me, so its follow up, The Harrier, is a record I was pleased to see make its way into my hands.
Well, it seems that Hiss from the Moat haven’t been idle in the time between albums. Their sound is as potent as ever, more so in fact; this is a record full of blackened hatred and deathly muscle. I’d say that on these latest songs the band’s black metal influences have been given slightly more prevalence in the songwriting, but it’s definitely still a hybrid approach to their music that the band has. This black/death metal has plenty of bite and force.
The musicianship has enough technical qualities to satisfy, but without going overboard in this direction. Fast and aggressive, this is music with blackened blast beats, thick riffs, dark melodies, and macabre atmosphere. The death metal side of the band never lets the brutality fall too far away, and although the songs largely offer a direct assault, this is occasionally enhanced with more atmospherically-inclined moments and other creative touches. These latter aspects see the band extend their average song lengths on this album; no track broke the four-minute mark on Misanthropy, but on The Harrier songs that are under four minutes in duration are now the exception.
With satisfyingly aggressive songs and a clear will to produce music that has more than just surface appeal, The Harrier is a welcome return from this underground extreme metal band.