Altars of Devotion by Harvest Gulgaltha

Release date: March 15, 2017
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions

So, if you haven’t realized that black/death metal is a thing, you’ve been hiding underneath a monolith that’s ready to roll off a cliff and crush an entire village full of primitive peoples. And, if you haven’t heard of Nuclear War Now! Productions, you’re a metal fan who needs to walk into an ocean somewhere on this earth. The fact is, black/death is being released in epic numbers and it’s surely more trendy right now than throwback second wave styled black metal, which there used to be a lot of and has mercifully run its course.

Harvest Gulgaltha has just released the full-length album, Altars of Devotion, through Nuclear War Now! Productions. The music is paced slower than black/death merchants the world over. But the doom element is a welcome divergence.

Light candles cobwebbed in complete darkness, as the tremolo riffs from this album exude fire. The pace is kept slower than typical black/death and the double-kicks are luckily audible on this digital version. The LP version would have some blunting of the thudding double kick drums, so anything analog is still recommended. It is a commendable effort for Nuclear War Now! Productions to release a full-length album by these merchants of darkness. The riffs are heavy and the songs thankfully stay listener friendly throughout eight tracks of pristine worship violence. This is a must-have for collectors of dark blackened death metal greatness.

Only the devotees of music so otherworldly would come across jadedly in their unlikely reaction to this LP. This is heavy, fun, and lurching in pace and tempo. Hardly much blasting, the band drown out the sounds of birds singing by condensing their guitars into a dense, and fittingly intense wall of sound. If you follow labels like Nuclear War Now! Productions, you’ll know that they typically release new full-length albums by bands rather seldom. They re-release many underrated albums and records of EP length, so if word that the new Harvest Gulgaltha record is as good as that news sounds, Altars of Devotion will find many collectors looking for a wise investment.

You won’t find this band re-tweeting reviews to the peril of reviewers with mediocre taste. All must bow down to Harvest Gulgaltha’s Altars to Devotion, or suffer indignation by the scourge of wearing the nameplate, I am Trendwaste. So far, this trend has still largely been isolated to underground labels, but if so much is certain, this trend will reach mainstream labels at some distant future.

The band members are cloaked in darkness, and their identities are a mystery to the greater part of the band’s audience. You know who you are, metal zealot, so do your share to keep this trend from expanding horizons into the skies above arena concerts, and record stores that sell Metallica records. We are the kvlt’s practitioners of vigilante darkness, and we must preserve this craft to the few who love this music to no gratitude for mainstream media outlets that cover big bands. Therefore, should you be a newcomer to this perceived scene of extreme metal bands, find yourself a lit torch and ignite the flame that burns a charred black hole in your damned soul.

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