Jul 192016

Harakiri For the Sky-III Trauma


(Andy Synn reviews the great new album by Austria’s Harakiri For the Sky.)

A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet. Or so they say. But when it comes to musical genres… is that really the case?

Now I’m sure some of you are already sharpening your claws ready to declaim that all genres are bullshit, and that you’re above such petty concerns… but for the rest of us who live in the real world, genre terms remain a useful way of tagging and identifying music – though I’m more than happy to admit that once we start getting bogged down in arguing about sub-sub-sub genres things start to get a little silly.

I’d contend that tagging a band with the right term remains important though, particularly when you’re introducing them to a potential new fan. Because, like it or not, using the wrong genre when talking about a band can give a new listener a false impression of what to expect, and sometimes it can be a real uphill battle to overcome this and and get them to judge it for what it is, not for what it isn’t.

Such is the case with Austrian angst-merchants Harakiri for the Sky. Continue reading »

Jul 052016

Harakiri for the Sky video clip


This is the third and final Part of a post that I began on Sunday focusing on black metal (and music influenced by it), thinking it would just be a two-parter featuring six bands instead of what it has become. As the days have passed, I’ve continued to come across advance tracks and full releases that I want to support, and the total has now reached 13 bands. Honestly, I could do this every day, but I’m going to make myself stop until next Sunday so I can devote attention to other things. Like eating and sleeping.

I’m going to begin with a couple of videos, one brand new and one not so new (but newly discovered), both of them created for Austrian bands. And then I’ll turn to a new split, a recent album, and a couple of new songs from a band with some famous names attached to it that aren’t really black metal but I want to mention them without further delay.


The new album by this Austrian band, III: Trauma, is fantastic. We’ve already featured one of the new tracks (here) and premiered a second one (here), and yesterday the band debuted a video for a third one. Continue reading »

Jun 202016

Harakiri For the Sky-III Trauma


Harakiri For the Sky’s last album Aokigahara, released in 2014, was a revelation — a powerful amalgamation of black metal and atmospheric post-metal that was both blisteringly cathartic and achingly beautiful. To borrow the words of my comrade Andy Synn, “With an undeniable ear for bleak, evocative melody, an impressive array of gleaming lead guitar refrains, and a keen grasp of stellar songcraft, on record the group are a truly immersive experience.” No wonder that this Austrian duo’s new album III: Trauma has been one of our most highly anticipated 2016 releases.

The first advance track from the new album, “Calling the Rain”, was a sign that, if anything, the band may have exceeded the heights reached on Aokigahara. The song is an intense experience, a memoriam to the suicide of an old friend. It’s also intensely memorable, earning all of its 11+ minutes and somehow still ending too soon. And today we bring you the premiere of a lyric video for another song — “Funeral Dreams” — which is further proof that, as fine as Aokigahara was, III: Trauma is even better. Continue reading »

Mar 172016

Der Weg-Harakiri-TGOO-flyer


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the performances in London on March 12 by Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Harakiri For the Sky, and The Great Old Ones — with videos recorded by Mr. Synn himself.)

Look at that line-up. Just look at it. That is one hell of a triple-header, if I do say so myself.

As a matter of fact, two of those bands, Der Weg Einer Freiheit and The Great Old Ones, were (separately) responsible for two of the best gigs I went to last year, whilst Harakiri For The Sky are one of those bands I’ve been itching to see live for years now, though the timing has just never quite worked out. So to say I was a little excited when this show was announced would be something of an understatement. Continue reading »

Mar 082016

Katatonia 2016


If you recall yesterday’s “Seen and Heard” round-up, I explained that I had fallen so far behind that I had a list of 30 new tracks from over the last week that I thought were worth exploring. And sure enough, the list has only grown, because so many other good new things popped up in the last 24 hours. So I’m starting with the four newest items and concluding with four from last week.


Yesterday brought details about the next Katatonia album, as well as a very brief teaser video. This will be their tenth studio full-length, with the title of The Fall of Hearts. It’s set for a May 20 release by Peaceville Records. Here’s the artwork (by Travis Smith, of course): Continue reading »

Apr 032014

I won’t be surprised if you’re perplexed by the name of this two-man Austrian band — Harakiri For the Sky. It’s cryptic and subject to different interpretations. I also won’t be surprised if you can’t guess, from their name, the nature of the music they make — and in fact it’s hard to pin down with a convenient label. But the music is very much worth hearing, and we’re giving you the chance to discover it for yourself via our premiere of a song named “Burning From Both Ends” that will appear on their forthcoming second album, Aokigahara.

The lilting, chiming guitar introduction to the song provides no preparation for the galvanizing storm that soon breaks. The music of songwriter/instrumentalist M.S. thunders and roars, but dramatic melodies flood the music, as vocalist J.J. (and guest vocalist Torsten of Agrypnie) rage with impassioned, lung-bursting conviction. As heavy as the music is, it swells with emotion and sweeps with windswept power, and the song will get stuck in your head. It’s a melding of black metal and post-rock that’s damned appealing. Continue reading »