September 12, 2013
by Tjeerd van Erve
There is this moment during the self-titled album of The Fire Harvest when you’ll most likely be cursing the quartet. Cursing them wholeheartedly from the depths of your soul. During the fifty-sixth second of the fourth minute of the fourth song on their debut, you feel betrayed. Betrayed for there is no fifty-sixth second in that fourth minute. Even though Secret Holy Place (that specific fourth song, three minutes and fifty-five seconds) has one of the best slowcore grooves of this year going on. The Fire Harvest lets the song starve and slowly die by fading it out. A fade-out that comes ten minutes prematurely, because even on repeat the song is cut short with the listener left wanting more. Wanting and waiting for more. Frustrated, like a junkie who has set the needle but never got to come to the rush, the high or the damage. A trip cut short, the meditation broken.
In the line of artists like Low, Mount Eerie, Codeine, early Songs: Ohia and Karate, The Fire Harvest likes to take it slow (real slow). Two distorted guitars shriek and pound long stretched chords, whilst a drummer refrains from drumming most of the time and the vocalist proclaims his lyrics more than he sings them. Songs whose intensity somehow remind me of Dutch slow-core kings Solbakken (for example The Sounds In Our House and Laywer_Killer), just tear me apart as they pass by. As with Solbakken, The Fire Harvest are pretty much unknown in the Netherlands, but create a sound and – more importantly – an atmosphere comparable to international sadcore/slow-core/*whatever you want to name these bands*, applying a slow pace and high repetition to their songs. The Fire Harvest’s self titled record’s format does attribute to its limited scope, as it’s released on cassette, plus a free Walkman as addendum (!). Nonetheless, its a gem to cherish.