EP Review: Spree by The Harvest Trail (Self Released)

Australia’s rising stars of melodic death metal, The Harvest Trail, release their brand new EP titled Spree on the 14th of April, 2023.

For fans of those great bands like At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, In Flames, Darkane, Dark Tranquillity, and The Halo Effect, The Harvest Trail hit hard with a relentless onslaught of melodic death metal. Hailing from Australia, this fierce quartet channels the spirit of ’90s melodic death metal, merging Swedish guitar melodies with Californian thrash for a truly electrifying experience. Following their well-received 2021 debut album “Instinct,” The Harvest Trail returns with six more tracks, showcasing the band at their finest. “Spree” is a high-octane journey filled with rapid-fire riffs and enthralling themes of Aussie crime tales that will leave you breathless.

Spree was recorded and mixed by The Harvest Trail and was mastered by Bergerk! Studios.

The Harvest Trail are Brendon Capriotti on vocals and guitar, Ian Binet on guitar, Jesse Millea on bass and Ashley Large on drums.

The Harvest Trail Spree band

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We get underway with Relapse which, after a brief spoken word intro erupts into a frenetic and chaotic blast of metal. The drums are absolutely going for it with strong rhythm and deep guttural vocals. The lead guitars track the vocals nicely during the verses and little solos break the intensity up in a short song that will definitely blow off any early morning fog. The title track, Spree, follows and really mixes things up a bit with an intro that leads you in with echoing drums and a sombre melody before exploding into life with an anarchic attack of speed drums, vicious vocals and punchy riffs. Punctuating lead guitars bridge verses nicely with plenty of soloing going on in a song that focuses heavily on the music with a lot less vocal passages.

Heist has another sombre and reflective melody at the start before a very sudden stop and a huge roar completely turn the track on it’s head. I love the flow to this song, it really rips with some more superb drumming sections, fiery vocals and huge riffs. Of course there are plenty of lead guitars and melodic lines dappled across the track with a chorus that absolutely rocks. Lockdown is another banger with a bit of a sample use din the intro, something The Harvest Trail seem quite happy to use so far on Spree. This track is so good and probably my favourite overall so far. I love the rhythms, the more melodic bridge, the slight switches in vocal tone and the clear ringing lead guitars that permeate the otherwise dark and heavy song.

Manhunt starts with another sampled bit of speech before the flurry of aggression takes over. You kind of know what to expect by now. Fast, fiery, huge rhythms and violent vocals get your head banging almost immediately. The lead guitars are phenomenal again here, placed so perfectly and really fitting the song very well. Vocals spit fire and fury and the drums and bass, well they have blown me away across the whole of Spree and continue to do so here.

We reach the end of Spree with Aftermath, an outro song that displays some serious emotive musicianship. Being purely instrumental, and mostly a sombre but gorgeous acoustic melody, it’s very easy to listen to but manages to convey emotion well and feel like the correct close for the EP. I really like the extra touches of very subtle orchestral backing and overall, it is just a stunning little instrumental outro that 1fits the feel of Spree perfectly.

The Harvest Trail have really delivered with Spree. It is a stunning release with tons of variety on it, plenty of balls to the wall death metal and solos as melodeath fans would expect. Intelligently used sampling adds even more poignancy to the songs where it is used and that outro track is gorgeous. The Harvest Trail clearly have plenty of talent and join that long list of amazing bands coming out of Australia. For me, being a big fan of melodic death metal, I always get excited to see other countries delivering their take on what was once predominantly a Scandinavian scene. Spree stays true to the genre with just a few little twists that should help them stand out from the crowd a little. I expect we will be hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.

Grab your copy/preorder from the Harvest Trail on Bandcamp, here.

The Harvest Trail Links

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Author

  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Spree by The Harvest Trail (Self Released)
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