Harvest Gulgaltha - Altars Of Devotion album review

Primitive death metallers refuse to come up for air

Cover art for Harvest Gulgaltha - Altars Of Devotion album

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A trio who record in their own studio to avoid any “external input” and whose identity remains shrouded in mystery (they’re from Phoenix, Arizona apparently) Harvest Gulgaltha are a bit like the death metal equivalent of Cultes Des Ghoules, even if they’re not as keen on jamming until they drop. It’s unsurprising then, that they have a stubborn, bare-bones approach. Their crude sonic aesthetics that place the drums, single buzzsaw guitar and distorted bass on the same level have no solos in sight, or much variation. Most of the eight songs here fester in the same heavy mid-tempo with subtle minimalistic ambient interludes. The very few times the drums suddenly splash everything around in a frenzy, as on opener A Vision Unleashed, the strings stop their deliberation to let feedback take over, as if they were purposely losing control. This is downtuned and primitive death metal envisioned as a trance-inducing medium for dark forces.