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New Lows - "Harvest Of The Carcass" (CD)

New Lows - "Harvest Of The Carcass" CD cover image

"Harvest Of The Carcass" track listing:

1. Stagnant Strides
2. Born And Razed
3. Plaguegrounds
4. Last Of The Rats
5. Harvest Of The Carcass
6. The Horrible And The Miserable
7. Blinding Grief
8. Anguish
9. New Lows
10. The Pounding And The Hollering

Reviewed by on March 10, 2011

"There is no studio trickery or a slight of production hand at work; this is sonically devastating music in its raw, unabashed form."

Note: This is only being released in vinyl/digital format.

Boston hardcore act New Lows knows exactly how anger should sound on their latest album, “Harvest Of The Carcass.” There is no studio trickery or a slight of production hand at work; this is sonically devastating music in its raw, unabashed form. This isn’t just a gauntlet of noise or a group bashing on instruments like kids with pots and pans. There is a semblance of ideas fueling the apathy and disdain that saturates the album. Less than half-an-hour is all that is needed to make the listener submit to “Harvest Of The Carcass.”

New Lows’ music is categorized by loads of feedback, shouted vocals, and prominent double bass drumming. The last one stands out the most, as the band feels the need to feature the booming double bass up front every chance it gets. Combined with the crackling riffs and thumping bass notes, the crushing musical weight suffocates the life out of the album. The breakdowns add to the anarchy, strategically placed on the album to avoid repetition.

“Born And Razed” and the title track dispel their wrath in two-minute intervals, not using any more time than that to get their vicious agenda across. The thick beat down administered by “Stagnant Strides” is hard to shake off, which isn’t helped by the crushing groove of “Plaguegrounds.” The pace picks up considerably on “Blinding Grief,” while “Anguish” is an appropriate title for the mood conceived through each pained word spoken by vocalist PBoy.

The odd track out is “The Horrible and the Miserable,” a redundant and boring instrumental lacking the momentum to sustain four minutes. There are a few solid riffs pounded out, but the song comes across as a half-baked leftover the band couldn’t find a place for or lyrics to accompany it. Closer “The Pounding and the Hollering” is a low-key closer, just skating by with a massive breakdown and the same level of intensity as the previous nine tracks. This reviewer wasn’t expecting an ambitious multi-part opus, but something to deviate itself from the pack.

“Harvest Of The Carcass” is not pleasant to relax to, unless one’s idea of kicking back involves bitter music at loud volumes. While not as reckless as Bolt Thrower or Nails, New Lows hits with a similar blow. The lack of over-done breakdowns and tough-guy lyrics is a positive, though the band’s instrumental attempt falls flat. Being labeled a “heavy” band is something that has become the bane of music circles over the years, a bloated statement with no real relevance. So instead of calling “Harvest Of The Carcass” the “heaviest album in quite a while,” one word can do it enough justice: ruthless.

Highs: Raw hardcore music, breakdowns that aren't overdone, booming double bass work

Lows: Lame instrumental in "The Horrible and the Miserable," lackluster closing track

Bottom line: Ruthless hardcore music that should inflict serious injury in the pits during live shows.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

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)