The Black Heart Rebellion
Har Nevo


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
February 6th, 2013 | 71 replies


Release Date: 01/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautiful, apocalyptic, ritualistic, and utterly, fascinatingly unique, "Har Nevo" is an early contender for the best album of 2013.

It might not be very often that a band completely breaks formula on an album and actually succeeds, but Har Nevo is proof that, when it does happen, absolutely brilliant things can come out of it. The previous album from Belgian collective The Black Heart Rebellion, Monologue, was a very enjoyable, albeit fairly unoriginal, Envy-esque blend of post-rock and screamo, and while traces of that style certainly shine through on their sophomore release, the bulk of that formula haze been utterly razed and replaced with something far, far more unique. On Har Nevo, one can find traces of a massive variety of genres such as post-rock, tribal, psychedelic, ambient, screamo, and even faint hints of atmospheric sludge metal, but while other artists attempting to combine such a hodgepodge of styles in the past have fell flat on their faces, The Black Heart Rebellion have done exactly the opposite, creating something that's unique, cohesive, and enthralling where similar efforts have been samey, jumbled, and dull.

Being part of the "Church of Ra", a Belgium-based musical collective of sorts headed by the incredibly talented Amenra and that band's frontman, Colin H. Van Eeckhout (who contributes vocals on 'Ein Avdat'), one of the few things that one can expect with absolute certainty going into Har Nevo is that this album will not be a whimsical journey. Rather, the aesthetic of The Black Heart Rebellion closely resembles the suffocating darkness of Amenra's Mass V more than anything else, and while Har Nevo is a far cry from the devastating sonic heaviness of that album, it is just as crushing, albeit in a far different manner. Plodding, earth-shattering sludge riffs have been replaced with eerie post-rock leads; dying-animal shrieks with breathy cleans, rough shouts, and the occasional screamo lines; desolate, apocalyptic climaxes with lengthy sections of foreboding ambiance. The most interesting part of it all might be how heavily tribal music and dark folk seemed to influence the band's work in Har Nevo: for proof, one needs merely to listen to opener 'Avraham'. The absolutely stellar drum performance on this song - and on the majority of the album's other songs - channels Neurosis' epic of tribal percussion, 'Cleanse', and the song as a whole, with heavy, rhythmic breathing forming a large part of its vocals, sounds like something akin to being chased through a dark wood by some primordial beast.

It's not until 'Crawling Low and Eating Dust', however, that The Black Heart Rebellion fully reveal their brilliance. Divided into three sections, this album highlight begins with over a minute of the album's most overtly tribal percussion, after which it transitions into a long period of the most haunting ambiance since Jakob's Solace, layered with faint wails and then lead singer Pieter Uyttenhove crooning and whispering, over and over, "Oh, sinner man. Oh, sinner man". Slowly, drums begin to enter the mix again, as the song moves into the album's most overtly screamo-esque section. What's most surprising than anything else, however, is how much emotion is channeled into this climax, and this is as good of a motif as any to summarize the genius of Har Nevo. Not only does it succeed at mixing a huge variety of genres to an extent that has become increasingly rare with like-minded bands, and not only is it as desolate and apocalyptic as the most crushing, ritualistic sludge album. These alone would make it a brilliant work, but what pushes Har Nevo over the top is the fact that, along with its inventiveness and darkness, the musicians behind it also manage to infuse it with legitimate emotion and soul. It's not foreboding for the sake of being foreboding, it's not tribal for the sake of being tribal, and it's not unique for the sake of uniqueness: every one of these characteristics serves to convey the real, tangible feelings of the men behind the music, and herein lies the basest excellence of Har Nevo.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
February 6th 2013


5337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0zbv5S15Mw

If this song (Crawling Low and Eating Dust) doesn't sell you on this, I don't know what will. Also, 'Avraham' and 'Into the Land of Another' are great tracks to check out if you want to give this a try.

Avraham:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iDnmI_Groc

Into the Land of Another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8SdKx6TNpo

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

WeepingBanana
February 6th 2013


10144 Comments


i read this as The Black Heart Procession and got psyched

nvm

Ignimbrite
February 6th 2013


5337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is probably better.

idk though, I haven't jammed them before.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 6th 2013


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think you're overrating it a bit, but it's very solid

CaptainDooRight
February 6th 2013


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

swee posd

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Ignimbrite
February 6th 2013


5337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It's entirely possible, but idk. We'll see in a few weeks' time.

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2013


6109 Comments


yessssssss this needed a review

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2013


6109 Comments


great review, pos'd

this is between a 3.5 and a 4 for me i think, but it's def really good

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2013


44357 Comments


Cant wait to hear this.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

wacknizzle
February 6th 2013


13221 Comments


Good review Ryan, pos'd. First album ruled hard, really looking forward to this.

Digging: Dioramic - Supra

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, thank you so much for this review.

Album is phenomenal. I still like Monologue the best, but the progression they made with this new album is stunning.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2013


7041 Comments


Why does this sound so good?

GiaNXGX
February 7th 2013


4867 Comments


bet this isn't that good

Ignimbrite
February 7th 2013


5337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Judge for yourself.

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2013


10417 Comments


ripping off black heart procession ain't cool

chambered99
February 8th 2013


802 Comments


i cant tell if i like this or not

Ignimbrite
February 8th 2013


5337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It's a weird album, so I can understand how some people might not dig it.

chambered99
February 8th 2013


802 Comments


its not too weird im just not sure if its got staying power time will tell :P

chambered99
February 8th 2013


802 Comments


k so this is p cool i lied

chambered99
February 8th 2013


802 Comments


last song is the best



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