I am a nihilist; I believe nothing is inherent, not even nothingness. It all arose as a result of the logical composition of the universe.
I am also fond of many of the people in this universe, and am aware that others hate me. I understand. Nothing I do is without purpose and I do not compromise my principles.
Part of that is the old saw: the best reviewer is a friendless hermit.
You want to help people you like; what if you don’t like their music? Or what if you like their music, and they don’t like you?
The answer is that such things are irrelevant.
Harkonin – Ghanima
This is the first album to get everything right but be all wrong. Harkonin just broke up, probably from the huge amount of hope invested in this CD. After all, they did all of the parts right — riffs, rhythms, production, songs that fit together at the right paces, on top of every development in metal, good vocals, excellent playing — but when they put those together, the result was less than the sum of its parts.
Like a rock record, this album comes across as disorganized, mainly because it attempts to hit us with contrasts between unrelated elements instead of seemingly unrelated elements that resolve to complementary pieces which cooperate like partners in a conversation to tell a story. It’s amazing that this is the case, given how much proficiency is shown. It as if confidence in their own tastes in metal held these guys back. That, the aforementioned “modern metal” style disorganization, and boring melodies that result from trying to keep it short and hookish and playing it too conservative.
Mixed elements of black metal, death metal, speed metal and even power metal comprise this CD. The problem is that they change within songs without any clear roadmap, so what results is the sensation of random pieces thrown together into carnival music, trying to shock us with how radically different each part is and as a result, creating a norm of differentness in which some kind of developing consistency would be the only shocker. The case is not song structures being constructed to fit a song, but archetypes modified to be distinctive from one another and their origins. As a result, form and content are confused. It is as if the band is trying to use form to substitute for content, but the result is not songs that are “about” a certain kind of impression, but a general song theory adapted to fit whatever topic is assigned.
It’s a heartbreaker to hear this one. It is fundamentally not interesting. It’s not boring, in that there are frequent changes. It’s not bad as in incompetent; in fact, it’s so super-competent that had it been interesting, this would have been an A-level album and a new classic. But it’s not about anything. It centers only on the idea of tweaking appearance to create a pattern, but that pattern gestures at nothing else, and descends even if in negative impression from an archetype, which leads to this album not distinguishing itself and so remaining a pile of high-quality parts that never gels into a whole.