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Harlott - "Extinction" (CD)

Harlott - "Extinction" CD cover image

"Extinction" track listing:

1. Extinction
2. First World Solutions
3. The Penitent
4. Whore
5. No Pest
6. Conflict Revelation
7. Better Off Dead
8. Violent Conspirator
9. And Darkness Brings the Light
10. Final Weapon
11. Parasite
12. Epitaph

Reviewed by on April 28, 2017

"Let’s just say if Slayer was a woman and got knocked up by any given band that played at Ruthie’s Inn, The Omni, or The Fillmore back in the day, the child would sound like Harlott's 'Extinction.'"

Harlott is out on an island both physically and figuratively. This four-piece thrash band hails from Melbourne, Australia and is one of the best bands putting out 80’s era ripping thrash with the same intensity as the heavyweights of that genre. Harlott’s third offering, “Extinction,” is a savage and relentless showcase of 80’s Bay Area thrash metal riffing. Let’s just say if Slayer was a woman and got knocked up by any given band that played at Ruthie’s Inn, The Omni, or The Fillmore back in the day, the child would sound like “Extinction.”

“Extinction” contains the following Bay Area hallmarks: stop-on-a-dime riffing attached to leads that would make Alex Skolnick blush and machine gun double bass drums and fills that make you think, “What the fuck was that???” The lyrical topics are also what you would expect from a band that worships that era comprising of sociopolitical themes and including some “good violent friendly fun” sing along anthems. The vocals remind me a lot of Tom Araya, not that I think the vocalist actually sounds like him but rather because of the cadence in which he barks them out.

After a few listens, it’s still difficult for me to find a standout track because they all have these little breaks or chorus lines that I really dig. I guess if I had to pick just one, it would be “Final Weapon.” It’s played at such a breakneck speed and feels like it’s almost teetering out of control at times. Now that’s thrash!

“Extinction” is a clinic on Bay Area thrash metal and how it’s done. The production is punchy and the playing is as tight as a knot on a pair of white Nike High Tops. If there’s one thing that disappointed me it would be that the bass was a bit buried in the mix. Not a deal breaker, but I would have liked to hear more of that bottom end. Overall, this is a terrific thrash album, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t land on several top ten lists by the end of the year.

Highs: So much Bay Area, so much mosh!

Lows: Can they get off that island and tour the world in support of “Extinction?”

Bottom line: Harlott went to Bay Area thrash metal college and I’m giving them straight A’s!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)