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In Dark Tongues

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Album Review

Neurosis member Steve Von Till maintains Harvestman as one of his creative alter egos and on In a Dark Tongue, with help from similarly minded souls like Al Cisneros of Om, and, on mastering, James Plotkin, creates an album, this project's second, that resists easy genre classification, touching on everything from soft, folk-friendly performances on autoharp to massive drones and back again — if anything, it shows how well and how broad the concept of what is supposed to be metal has now completely, thoroughly taken root. The opening track, "World Ash," aims for the dreamy in its steady riffing and flange that feels like a slow psychedelic throb — something the following "Karl-Steine" then intensifies — but as much as it helps define In a Dark Tongue, it doesn't fully describe the album, either. For example, the song "The Hawk of Achill" pumps it up in a charging Hawkwind space rock style more than anything else, while enough Spacemen 3 scaled-up/scaled-down zones, in addition to guitar crunch, appear throughout the album to make it seem like a backwoods drone effort. Vocals first appear with the aggressive chanting on the lengthy "By Wind and Sun," with understated mantras deep in the mix that are semi-screamed, semi-chanted against all sorts of queasy swirl — it's very much a back-to-nature metal song if anything, vocals eventually swirled even further down in the mix. There's also an inspired touch in a cover of John Martyn's "Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail," which aims for the electrically stately and finds it very well.

In Dark Tongues, Harvestman
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