Harboured by HarbouredRelease date: March 17, 2023
Label: Lost Future Records
Odd bursts of creative self-indulgence are by no means a bad thing, and it is quite clear that Harboured is exactly that. This is just four friends, who have made their names in other bands, coming together to blast out something in order to scratch an itch they haven’t been able to in their primary outfits. The result, an imaginatively-titled Harboured, exudes that freedom from expectation, a sense that this is all merely for the fun of it.
What we are presented with flits from progressive metal into black, death, and the mercurial post- territories, without fully committing to any particular ethos. On the one hand, it allows the band to pull in all sorts of influences and combine them as they sit fit. Yet on the other, it can leave the impression that Harboured is too cautious, unable or unwilling to dive in headlong. The likes of ‘Far Barren’ would appear to make a mockery of that sentiment, but conversely ‘The View’ adds credence to it.
At a fraction over half an hour long, the album zips by and is done before you know it. Is there much that makes an impact though? In all honesty, probably not. The quality of the musicianship is flawlessly brilliant, the song writing tight and concise, the breadth of scope a refreshing alternative to a lot of the blinkered offerings around. However, the impression it leaves is minimal. Brutal, melodic, nondescript: that’s what Harboured ultimately boils down to.