Harakiri for the Sky - Arson
Written By: Dustin Koetsch
The level of talent it takes for just two people to write and record a whole album is awe inspiring, Matthias Sollak who plays guitar bass and drums along with Michael "JJ" V. Wahntraum on vocal duties both make Harakiri for the Sky an industriously bold band. Sollak has taken his multi instrumental abilities and forged them into a very ambitious piece of work in the bands fourth album “Arson”
“Arson” is arduous, bold and challenging in its execution. Soaring, melodic, lead guitars linger like breath in the cold air amongst their acute rhythmic counterpart. The bass adds that low end concentrated intensity while the drums blast energetically in propulsion with the rest of the instruments.
Sollak’s vision is clear and concise with how the songs are crafted and played. I mean what better way to write leads over the rhythms while infusing them with bass than by doing it yourself? Its like having cloned versions of yourself in the band, that's the ultimate level of cohesion and collaboration. There's some real beautiful and dense music written on this album, as with most “doom” metal albums it evokes a certain mood and feeling with its aural prominence. But to even try to put “Arson” into a genre category is a tough one, there's black metal, there's doom, there's post rock its an amalgamation of so many different and afferent sounds, to make comparisons to other bands would be doing a disservice since this is such a uniquely sounding record. But there are hints of bands here and there that really gives “Arson” something for everyone here.
The drumming on “Stillborn” (which is my favorite track by far on “Arson”) shows Sollak has some serious skills here, it feels like out of all the instruments he plays its the one he seems to hold back on the most in the song writing. But in “Stillborn” he lets loose and really shows what he is capable of on all fronts.
My only real criticisms of the record are, that after about 3 tracks the songs feel very protracted and trying to get through the rest of the album was a bit of a beautiful chore. Included in this sentiment, the vocals show little to no variation in execution so there are a few songs that sound similar vocally and it tends to make you feel like you’ve been listening to the same song for 30+ minutes.
I give “Arson” a solid 7/10