Shaman’s Harvest return with a brooding new set.
Release Date: 11th March 2022
Label: Mascot Label Records
Formats: CD / digital / vinyl
The seventh album from the Missouri rockers is their first album in five years. Indeed, “the hardest record we’ve ever made, on every level,” says singer Nathan Hunt.
The rush of a combined 190 million streams between the previous two albums was countered with natural disasters ripping through their town and a case of what could go wrong in the making of a record. I think we all know the answer… The road to Rebelator was, what Blackadder would call. strewn with cowpats from the Devil’s own satanic herd. And then Nathan Hunt had to make a life-changing decision whether to amputate his leg or not following a long-term injury. A subsequent duel with throat cancer – you couldn’t make it up – resulted in a darkness that fuelled Rebelator.
It’s been a longer and more arduous road than most, but Rebelator is proof that great art is often a result of great suffering. There’s a real growling intensity across the eleven tracks as Under Your Skin gets, erm, under the skin with a dangerous drive and smouldering burn of a vocal and an urgent guitar line sits underneath the main riff. Along with toe The Line, it’s a potent opening gambit and allows Flatline to give them and us a pause for breath.
The light and shade (or loud and quite if you prefer) arrangement on Voices is a perfect gateway track to Shaman’s Harvest – one that probably has some close relative in the Rock mainstream. Big and bold with a lazy swagger and attitood. The same laconic tempo continues into Lilith where a gentle piano outro offers the Shaman’s Harvest touch of sensitivity; unexpected after the intro of “tell me your dirty little secret,” how Hunt is the snake within the garden and the stop start riffing. “That song, in particular, has a Southern rock vibe in the slide, but there’s also an industrial electronic feel in the percussion,” Hunt says.
The subtle groove set up in the dreamy textures in Mama set us up for a final swing through the back end of the record where Hurricane continues the restarinat and places the emphasis squarely on mood. and what becomes apparent as we get deeper into Rebelator is that there’s more to Shaman’s Harvest than just the groovy licks. The detuned metal chug on Wishing Well adds a twangy, soaring chorus and subtle, with the additional curveball flourishes like fingerpicked acoustic guitar and experimental vocal effects.
Bird Dog confirms as it evolves into a desert wasteland atmosphere of mouth harp, tumbling percussion and deep, growling vocals. Hunt calls the final result a “weird mixture of things, blending its dust-blown textures with bits of broodingMetallica and Queens Of The Stone Age—the perfect backdrop for his almost post-apocalyptic lyrics. “It’s definitely a cinematic thing,” he says. The “bring out your dead, lay out your dead, in the cemetary” lines oozing with a dense and dark presence.
Ultimately, Rebelator sets a strong case for triumph over adversity. The gestation and perseverance piured into the music makes the songs even sweeter.
Watch the official video for Under Your Skin from the album here: