For all the shit I give the UK for it’s inherently inbred scene politics, there are some ridiculously suave acts plying their trade in the home nations right now. Harbinger have been slowly amassing a following verging on screaming teen girl fandom (I’m a Harbingal, what can I say) and on their recent Basick Records debut Human Dust they’ve cemented their place in the new elite of UK metal. Their sound is awash with technical flair, hair whipping groove and solid death metal riffing. 99% of bands trying to incorporate stylish leads and crushing breakdowns end up falling victim to the ten-ideas-at-oncecore that isn’t pleasing on the ear whatsoever. Not Harbinger. The riff and lick factory that they operate produces seamless and wholly satisfying modern death, even with the wide array of influences present in the band; an array of influences which each member of the band gives us an insight into below. Enjoi.
Tom: The Safety Fire – Mouth Of Swords
The album that helped influence me the most for our record would have to be The Safety Fire‘s Mouth Of Swords. I say this because being in such a technical band it can be quite hard to work out phrasings and lyrics to fit in the best way. This album is both tech heavy as well as soft in parts, and I have always loved how Sean has created such a unique way of combining the differences of his vocal styles and I wanted to replicate this. I do take influences from other vocalists such a Sam Carter, and Travis Ryan, but Sean McWeeney uses his lyrics to create poetic rhythms as well as using complicated words. This works really well with technical metal and for me I took this and added my own heavy style to create, what I hope gives a unique new feel to this style of metal.
Ben: The Human Abstract – Digital Veil
An album that has heavily influenced the way I write and listen to music is Digital Veil by The Human Abstract. The way that classical melodies and song structures are so intricately intertwined with crushing and technical metal riffs on this record had a huge influence on my desire to write heavy music that didn’t sacrifice on melodic content or well structured songs. Another thing I love about The Human Abstract is that their sound evolved throughout their career, however the music is still almost instantly recognisable due to the aforementioned classical sensibilities. Figuring out how to play tracks from Digital Veil on guitar has also been a labour of love for many years; the guitar lines resonate with me and just make me want to play them! AJ Minette is definitely one of my guitar heroes and one day, I hope that we get to see another album from this band.
Charlie: The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate
For me, Deflorate by The Black Dahlia Murder as always been a solid piece of mastery and has influenced my metal playing and writing style. This album was the first that guitarist Ryan Knight featured on. Having listened to the band since their first album Unhallowed I’ve experienced a subtle evolution of the band but he brought this new colour and flare that really made my ears perk up. His tasteful licks and style of lead playing is something I strived towards when writing my solos in “Psychosomatic” and “The Darkness Of June”. Aside from the lead playing on this album, The Black Dahlia Murder have tons of riffs and sections that are just pure gold. I’m a big fan of fast riffing, blast beats and double kick and I think that really reflects on the material I write. People that know me well will know exactly what I wrote for this EP.
Kris: Coheed and Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV
Id certainly have to go with Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Coheed and Cambria. The way Coheed manage to capture and evoke emotion in their music is something that really shapes the considerations we have made on our new record. They split their songs in three ways on this album. The angrier metal sounds on “Welcome Home” and “The Final Cut”, the poppier approach to progressive metal which brings out a grand feeling of ambition, and then softer feelings of love on “Wake Up” and “Always and Never”. Harbinger’s new record can be split into two distinct emotive groups. Our songs related to nihilism should evoke a feeling of dread, and disorder, which is most prevalent in “The End of Time”, “Human Dust” and “Captive/Hated”. The other emotive group relates to mental health. “The Darkness of June” and “Psychosomatic” evoke a feeling of internal pain, and a conflict within your own mind through the songs’ sporadic natures.
Joel: Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh
I’d have to go with The Way Of All Flesh by Gojira. The album is an absolute metal masterpiece and has influenced the way I play my drums since day one of listening to it. Not only that but Mario Duplantier is one of my drumming idols and I’ve definitely taken a serious liking to his style of playing and even tried to implement aspects of his rhythms and beats into this new Harbinger EP, particularly all the high tempo double kick patterns and blast beats in tracks like “The End Of Time” and “The Darkness Of June”. Hit hard or go home!
Catch Harbinger at the UK Tech-Fest this weekend and check out Human Dust right goddamn now.