Harpoon – Deception Among Birds

Harpoon - Deception Among Birds

Harpoon - Deception Among Birds

The controlled chaos and staggering sounds arising from the blend of grindcore, hardcore, and punk within the new album Deception Among Birds from Chicago metallers Harpoon, has resulted in a release that is gloriously impressive and deeply satisfying. The album, released October 25th via Seventh Rule Recordings, is a creative triumph, a colossus of thoughtful songwriting, and the pinnacle of merged instinctive roaming melodies and rampantly devastating power.

Harpoon are no strangers to critical acclaim and high praise having garnered plenty with their debut 2009 album Double Gnarly /Triple Suicide and split releases with noise/drone/metal duo, Locrian (2009) and The Muzzler (2010). Deception Among Birds will certainly raise that praise immeasurably, as the band have leapt even further forward in their songwriting. Toney Vast-Binder (vocals), D.J. Barraca (bass), and Dean Costello (guitar, drum programming) have brought forth a release that oozes imaginative ingenuity alongside an intensity as ferocious and impacting as any violent storm. Engineered by Andy Nelson, returning from their debut album, Deception Among Birds is a constantly moving mix of ideas and sounds that eagerly whip around the ears with a firm and refreshing determination to deliver something new and unforgettable.

From the opener “To The Tall Trees”, the album shakes up the safety and security of the listener, challenging and testing their mettle and ability to appreciate music that coaxes and engages openly and agreeably as it collides potently into the ear. Right through to the discordant closer “Deception Among Birds”, the album delights and strips the senses with equal effect, inciting and bringing addictive flavours that are irresistible, whilst at the same time there is a menacing tone that almost wants people to not engage with the album. It is a wonderful effect and sound that one eagerly wants to be consumed by.  The two ‘bookends’ to Deception Among Birds are very different but similar too; both have a testing composition that intrigues and keeps one on their toes. The opener though has a more ordered direction, not predictable but straight forward and direct whereas the title track ends the album by building a dark and growing intensity, broken with disruptions and diversions delivered with sureness and confidence. Wrong footing the listener throughout, the track plays mischievously before eventually bringing in an ominous calm of false relief and stability, soon disposed by an overwhelming atmospheric and beckoning intolerance.

The whole album is impressively varied and all songs make their individual journeys a focused effort, rewarded with great enjoyment. “Prequel To A Lifetime Of Disappointment” intrudes and inspires with a semi drone of the harsh and melodic aspects of sound, whilst “Phlegm” eagerly stalks the ear as it ebbs and flows through intensity of its attack without ever showing the listener mercy. Add the primal glory of “Troglodyte’s Delight”, the hardcore punk fueled “Shit Wizard” lined with an addictive groove that makes one drool, and the vibrant tease of “’The Cut Of His Jib” that makes addiction a must with its incessant riffs and heart inflaming punk licks; urgency laced with melodic vocals that fall eagerly alongside frantic shouts and growls, and you have an album that goes far beyond essential listening.

Deception Among Birds is a glorious and welcome intruder on the senses, its freshness and innovation rare amongst current releases. From the album’s songwriting through Vast-Binder’s vocals, the striking manipulating guitars of Costello, and the imposing bass lines of Barraca, to the overall completeness of sound, Harpoon have pushed music up a level with this album, and made it tremendously exciting once more.