Jagged Vision

Harvest Earth

Written by: AP on 26/01/2014 19:07:32

At the end of January last year, members of Kylesa launched the Retro Futurist record label, with the intention of providing a home for bands they felt had aesthetic, conceptual or ethical relevance. Its first signing, Canadian vintage/prog-rock trio Sierra, was swiftly followed by Norwegian sludge metal group Jagged Vision, whose debut album "Harvest Earth" was released on New Year's Day, but which escaped my attention until witnessing the last two songs of their set supporting Kylesa in Copenhagen two weeks ago. Despite missing most of the show due to a scheduling confusion, what I saw there impressed me to a degree where not summing it up for you in a review would have been a gross misdeed.

Jagged Vision play a visceral style of sludge metal with a dusting of hardcore fury. In fact, to liken them to their brethren in Kvelertak, albeit without the significant influence of black metal, would be quite apt, as quickly betrayed by the groovy bridge and outro entering at approximately 01:50 in the opening track "Darkness into Light". What it also betrays is that Jagged Vision have a knack for writing excellent hooks without sacrificing their savage nature, Daniel Vier & Harald Lid's riffs sizzling with Southern flavour, vocalist Ole Urke Wik spewing gravelly ire, and drummer Joakim Svelå & bassist Kato Austrått firming it up with a dense, punishing foundation.

While it isn't a boundless chest of treasures of course, "Harvest Earth" does distinguish itself by diversity, with virtually every track exploring a different facet of the sludge metal genre, whether it be the instant allure of the Blodig Alvor-esque punk drive of "Shadows Glide", the searing stoner doom of "Supernova", or the Wilson-style Southern rock stylings of "Electric Empire". Inevitably, the band's Norwegian heritage is allowed to infiltrate the proceedings in places, too; as exemplified by the blast-beaten cold and dark of the title track. But it isn't hard to discern wherein lies this outfit's greatest strength, as despite firing with accuracy on almost all fronts, it is the mastery of the stoner riff that constitutes Jagged Vision's best asset.

There are few moments which could be considered decidedly weak, but having spun the album countless times in the past two weeks and bobbed my head along to it with little relent, I've noticed a pattern of extra attention instantly solidifying during songs like "Trapped Forever" and "Lose Control" which are loaded to bursting with blazing grooves; where Jagged Vision follow faithfully in the footsteps of bands like Black Tusk applying the Sleep and Electric Wizard school of thought to their songwriting. That "Harvest Earth" is unable persistently to have this effect on me suggests, to me, that Jagged Vision still have some homework to do when it comes to writing consistent records. There's huge promise here though, so it is hardly a surprise that Pleasants & co. put pen to paper with them.


Download: Shadows Glide, Supernova, Trapped Forever, Lost Control
For the fans of: Black Tusk, Doomriders, Kvelertak
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.01.2014
Retro Futurist

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