The HAARP Machine


Written by: SC on 31/12/2012 09:55:39

Progressive metal that really impresses is a very rare ting. But what characterizes good progressiveness in the first place? A single answer to the equation is not to be found easily because of difference in taste. Some of the ingredients to describe progressive metal can possibly be unbelievably challenging riffs, foreign instruments or a versatile soundscape.

All of these elements are part of the foundation of The HAARP Machine's debut album "Disclosure" and it works out tremendously well. Guitarist and band co-founder Abdullah Al Mu'min's extremely complex and mathematical approach to making his instrument sing is just mind-blowing from time to time. He is incredibly fast and all the riffs he throws at you are just so impressive and different. None of the tracks remind of each other partly because of Al Mu'min and partly because of the synergy in every composition.

The record is so well produced that it is almost too good to be true. The drums as well as the guitar are amazingly complex. The way the drums change in speed and mood is really impressive. They can at one point sound like an eighties rock-band kind of approach and change into a speedy aggressive monster that just wants to trample you. The bass supports the dark atmosphere perfectly by creating a thickness without just making a blurry effect.

The vocals switch between a low harsh growl to a quite nice clean-yet-still-a-bit-rough singing that creates a perfect finish to this monumental soundscape the guys have created on this album. This combined with their enormous technicality means the album just grows on you every time you listen to it. New small details just pop up all the time and make this an exciting journey. And to top their progressive approach to metal they have loads of keys and piano as well. Moreover they also make use of a koto and a sitar to make the soundscape way more personal and it works really well.

Overall "Disclosure" is an amazing release that deserves a whole lot of attention. The HAARP Machine's grandiose sound is a pure joy if you like an alternative approach to metal. It is not extreme or rule-breaking but just very well played and produced. This is some of the best progressive metal I have heard this year, alongside Between The Buried and Me's "The Parallax: Future Sequence". I will strongly recommend this release to anyone who is into bombastic and crooked metal with a load of aggression and frustration in its expression.


Download: Lower The Populace, From Vanity To Utility, Machine Over
For The Fans Of: Between The Buried And Me, The Dillenger Escape Plan

Release Date 15.10.2012
Sumerian Records

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