MWWB continue to progress on their long interstellar journey. The Harvest is the band simultaneously refined and expanded. The former because their songwriting is leaner and no tracks breach the 10-minute mark, but also the latter as MWWB have taken the experimental stylings of Yn Ol I Annwn further and wider. Taking the psychedelic doom of their last album as a starting point, The Harvest brings in increased experimental and progressive elements, making for an album of diversity and texture.
This record is a beguiling combination of sweeping synths, electronic sounds, ethereal vocals, and crushing riffs. Cosmic atmospheres abound, and the music is as richly coloured and structured as you would expect from MWWB. The nine tracks flow from one to the next with well-composed ease. The album has a sci-fi soundtrack feel, with cinematic scope and ambition baked into its DNA.
Four tracks form the actual main songs, with five tracks around these acting as intros, outros, and interludes. However, don’t let this put you off, or come across as derogatory for these pieces. This is a rare example of these sorts of tracks largely working well for an album to heighten immersion and pull the listener deeper into the atmosphere. This is especially true as calling the the atmospheric instrumental tracks interludes does them a bit of a disservice, as they are really songs unto themselves, and merge from one actual doom metal song to the next with seamless ease. In fact, if the band had just released The Harvest as a single 51-minute track they could have gotten away with it, so integral are these bridging pieces to the whole. Although having said that, each track is its own distinct entity. I suppose what I’m essentially saying is that as soon as you start the album you won’t want to finish it before it is done at the end of the beautiful stripped-back Moonrise, so engaging and absorbing is its labyrinthine soundtrack.
If a spacefaring distillation of doom metal psychedelia, film score influences, and experimental atmosphere sounds good to you, then don’t let The Harvest pass you by.
Very highly recommended.