Harrowed / Art Of Burning Water
Split 7"

H1. Twenty Ten
H2. Confined
A1. Let Me Let You Finish
A2. Cholo
A3. If I Knew Now What I Knew Then

Harrowed is a power trio melding d-beat with the more “modern” (or rather, decade old) hardcore stylings of a Cursed or a Converge, with some nifty flourishes of powerviolence and doom in the mix for good measure.

Art Of Burning Water continue their mission to annoy all and sundry with their slightly faster take on their usual off-kilter noise-rock with definite hardcore leanings, like a sped up Keelhaul partying with Motorhead.

Release date 31/01/16.

Co-released with Secret Law.

Ltd. to 250 copies on black vinyl.
Covers come in white (bands), red (Secret Law) and green (SuperFi).

Harrowed | James, Jason, Seb | Bandcamp | Facebook

Art Of Burning Water | Kunal, Mike, Geith | Bandcamp | Facebook

Dead Pulpit
If you've been coming to this blog for a while then you should know that there are several bands that are kind of a big deal around here. harrowed is one of those bands. I discovered them thanks to adam. their full length, "into inferno"?, was hands down the best thing to come out in 2013. it was so mean. so angry. and so fucking perfect. its a dual sledgehammer wielding maniac running around an antique store. smashing everything and laughing and shouting obscenities. its nails playing a little slower and longer. and better. its been a long wait for new material but its so worth it. these 2 tracks just continue windmilling those sledgehammers around. this right here is why we love hardcore. art of burning water have been around for 10 years or so now started off as a kind of mathy sludge band similar to keelhaul or meatjack and slowly over the years have gone more in the crust direction. adding in some slight grind and powerviolence elements along the way. they've definitely gotten better with time. not to say the older stuff was bad. not by any stretch. I just prefer the later recordings. their 3 tracks here are different take on hardcore but every bit as effective as the harrowed side. this 7" drops on Monday so prepare yourselves. and hide your valuables.

Des Cendres A La Cave
Toujours excédé et toujours désespéré, Art Of Burning Water enchaîne les split en ce moment. Avec Famine, Nervous Mothers et donc, ici, Harrowed. Tous parus ou à paraître, tous composés de morceaux ultra-courts et ultra-violents. Une minute en moyenne et basta. Tabassage systématique, lourdeur extrême, cris d’hyène en furie, basse démonte-pneu et guitares psychiatriques. Du côté d’Art Of Burning Water, rien ne change : c’est toujours la même sidération qui accompagne l’écoute. Let Me Let You Finish reprend plus ou moins les choses là où Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting les avait laissées, dans le caniveau, tout près des égouts, un couteau planté au beau milieu du dos. La guitare cisaille les fondations en balançant partout ses riffs-tronçonneuses, la batterie fait ce qu’elle peut pour ne pas se casser la gueule dans sa course désespérée vers la sortie du morceau et la basse ensevelit le tout, au diapason d’une voix qui éructe des stridences systématiquement glauques. Cholo qui le suit immédiatement est beaucoup plus lourd et beaucoup plus répétitif. Complètement doomy-plombé, parfaitement éreinté. If I Know Now What I Know Then amalgame les deux premiers , les riffs démoniaques de l’un avec la lourdeur de l’autre. Le résultat est puissamment malfaisant. Au final, cinq petites minutes suffisent au trio pour flinguer la journée et imposer ses idées noires et féroces. Inutile de compter sur Harrowed pour redresser la barre. Eux n’éructent que deux titres, ils sont certes un poil plus longs mais malheureusement tout aussi violents. On ne connaissait pas ce trio du Kent qui aime balancer de grosses doses de metal dans son hardcore. On pense à Cursed, Trap Them, voire à du D-beat saupoudré de poussières d’Entombed. Leur premier album de 2013, Into Inferno, mérite d’y jeter une oreille pour celles et ceux qui voudraient creuser la question. Quoi qu’il en soit, Twenty Ten et Confined ne dépareillent pas aux côtés du triptyque d’Art Of Burning Water. La voix est simplement plus charpentée, moins vicieuse, tout comme l’ossature des morceaux : départ pied au plancher puis gros coup de frein et reprise sur les chapeaux de roues pour finir droit dans le mur. Le tout accompagné d’une belle collection de stridences suraiguës pour finir d’achever les neurones. Une fois le dernier vrombissement expulsé, on remet prudemment le disque dans sa pochette en se disant qu’il ne faudra pas oublier de l’oublier. Mais voilà, comme toujours, on s’y laisse prendre : tout ce qui vient après sonne trop positif et pasteurisé et on finit par attendre impatiemment la suite (qui ne devrait pas tarder et prendre la forme d’un LP pour Art Of Burning Water). La musique des londoniens représente toujours ce truc définitif qui trouve en Harrowed un parfait compagnon de jeu. L’un révèle l’autre, l’autre n’enfouit pas l’un. Un bel équilibre à bien y regarder.

Echoes & Dust
Two of this country’s most relentless bands Harrowed and Art Of Burning Water join forces for this short but sweet split release and the results are as ferocious as you would expect from the two bands. Harrowed kick things off with the huge riff of ‘Twenty Ten’, a song that after a sludgey opening descends into speedy pissed off hardcore (think Integrity or Ringworm) before breaking things up again with those dirty sludge riffs. They follow it up with the slowed down Converge-esque groove of ‘Confined’, a song reminiscent of Fixation On A Coworker era Deadguy and all the better for it. This first material since their debut album Into Inferno three years ago is a good indication of great things from Harrowed in the future. Art Of Burning Water follow this frenetic opening salvo and deliver the goods with the three tracks that they have on the split. First track, the unhinged ‘Let Me Let You Finish’ is faster than the band’s previous material and comes across like an amalgamation of Amphetamine Reptile bands like Chokebore or Guzzard jamming with Motörhead and sees the band truly let loose on a track that is bolstered by some harrowing screams throughout. ‘Cholo’ is a groovier proposition though sounds no less unhinged than the opener, while closer ‘If I Knew Then What I Knew Then’ finishes things off with a grinding drive with its mid paced and crushing rhythms. This split is a great example of the quality of underground music in this country and as both Harrowed and Art Of Burning Water release new material in the future, it is not to be missed at any cost.

Keep It Fast
Sounds like: Putting the ‘FUN’ in funeral. That’s pretty bleak, I hope there were canapés at the wake. From the sludge-coated depths of the underworld and Super Fi Records, two bands stumble into the light. Actually, that should read, pollute the light with their all encompassing and rasping darkness. Harrowed are a three piece from Kent and contribute two tracks to this nifty little Split EP. The first, Twenty Ten – let’s rip with crisp, scowling guitar riffs, turbo-blast beat drumming, fronted by a mouthpiece that spits with acidic disgust. There’s some nice breakdowns on this, as it bludgeons through with this battering ram force, similar to Converge‘s devouring hate of Concubine. Confined follows this at similar arm-flailing speed, the vocals snap back and forth with schizophrenic lust, as Harrowed’s hardcore-thrash punk slices past with the cleansing power of an out-of-control threshing machine of fun. It snarls and shrieks through a haze of brutal and purging honesty. Two fucking thumbs up lads. We move on to the rainbow happy sunshine of Art of Burning Water. I’m lying of course, because AOBW utterly nullify anything considered to be cheerful or raise a smile. Their fusion of crust-grind-hardcore wallows in the mires of the damned and the dying. Guitars are detuned to scuzz on Let Me Let You Finish, as a larynx opens rip with such gargling vitriol, it actually makes me feel slightly hoarse – furious, guttural, thrashing-grind destruction. Things go all black metal on the volatile disorientation of the sludgy If I Knew Now What I Knew Then – trippy and utterly toxic. The likes of the dooming-crunch of Cholo howl and belch with chewing, lacerating fervour and the vocals stagger back through the hell dimension, spewing a frothing, blood-slicked gurgle whilst the entire Seth Putnam back catalogue is forced through lawnmower in the background. A cracking little EP by two bands who properly clash horns – Art of Burning Water and Harrowed serve up a treat in the form of their brands of blackened-metal grind and sludge-hardcore noise. Another solid release from Super Fi Records, who seem to constantly churn out the very best in underground metallic-noise chaos.

Midlands Metalheads
Both bands act, very successfully, as a kind of audible middle finger. Ahh, old-school hardcore punk vibes. Crusty, grindy, furiously fast and in-your-face aggressive. Both bands act, very successfully, as a kind of audible middle finger. Art of Burning Water seem to bring a more deeply unhappy and genuinely miffed attitude to their sound while Harrowed almost seem to revel in the joy of their own anarchic presence. A fine pairing, albeit brief. Very much for fans of such things but amongst those who are both bands should go down an absolute treat.

Could Art of Burning Water be any more prolific? It seems I take my eye off the ball for a second and they are back with another release. Seemingly with no drop in quality either. Their versatile nature always blows my head clean off, witness grinding and positively evil-sounding opener Let Me Let You Finish which takes longer to type out than it does for them to play. Blasting, croaky vocals and their usual deftness of hand impresses immediately. In fact their side of the split could have well been pressed twice, the songs register at just over four minutes. A perfect little slice of unpleasantness. Harrowed carve out similarly paced and engaging content for their side of the slab, with some pretty meaty off-kilter sections in opener Twenty Ten that stamp out their brief but effective ideas with aplomb. Second cut Confined rages along at a similar pace, sounding not unlike the faster moments of the late, great Cursed, packing in spit-flecked vocals towards a chaotic ending that clatters the whole affair to a close. A short review for a short release, who cares when the sounds are this good?

The Sound Not The Word
Sometimes, a long review is pretty unnecessary. Such is the case with the split 7? between Harrowed and Art Of Burning Water. At a mere 7 minutes long, this record doesn’t wait around, and its five tracks don’t lend themselves to deep analysis. Instead, it’s a record for your lizard brain to enjoy, with its furious slices of rage and violence. Short, sharp, and utterly restless, this split doesn’t wait around. Harrowed take the first side with their D-beat infused modern hardcore (think Converge or Cursed). There’s a malevolent undercurrent to the music in addition to the more face-value violence, giving the two songs a pretty dark atmosphere that’s almost Holy Terror-ish. Credit to the band too for making the songs seem longer than they are, with clever use of shifts in tempo; I especially like the way “Twenty Ten” drops to an almost-crawl in its closing movement. There’s more work gone in to these two songs than their fury might initially suggest; scratch beneath the surface and remarkable depth is revealed. Art Of Burning Water have got 2016 off to a prolific start – by my count, there’s already three splits released (or coming out soon) that they’ve contributed to this year already. Inspiration for their aggressive kind of noise rock evidently isn’t running low, then, and their three tracks here are hostile, uncomfortable listens. The vocals are the most notable aspect of their sound; a desperate, barely-human series of shrieks that sound almost painful to produce. The riffs are noisy and catchy though, and there’s actual songs keeping all this sound and fury together. For all the front-loaded rage and aggression, the fact that both bands have taken the time to write songs with more to them than just hostility makes this split the kind of record that, short as it may be, warrants repeat listens. Sure, it’s very appealing as a short blast of frantic catharsis, but there’s more depth to it than that. Unpleasant in the most pleasant of ways.

UK Scumscene
Harrowed’s take on dark, metallic hardcore is one of the best in the UK and their debut album Into Inferno is a vicious and dangerous sounding record that takes all the best bits from the genre and plays them really well. However, on the two tracks they offer on this split, the elements are all still there but Harrowed don’t sound as volatile. This is Harrowed doing what Harrowed do and that’s fine because Harrowed make great hardcore, but they’re missing the edge that made Into Inferno so utterly sumptuous. This is mainly due to the production style which is a little rawer than the band’s debut. Into Inferno certainly wasn’t a bright, shiny album when it came to production, but the guitar sounded deadly. It had a real bite that’s sadly missing on these tracks and it just means that they’re missing a special something that would make them stand out better, especially now that dark hardcore is such an overpopulated genre. Harrowed are still an exciting hardcore band and these tracks are by no means bad, they’re just not up to the band’s usual standard. Fingers crossed Harrowed have another belter of a long-player in the works because it’s about time we saw something more substantial from the band. It’s weird to think that Into Inferno is around 3 years old now. 7/10
Art of Burning Water are one of those bands that have been slogging their way through the toilet circuit for what feels like forever and never really been given their dues. Their music is very difficult to categorise as it draws in so many different influences from the heavy music spectrum, but it’s mainly a form hardcore punk that’s sprinkled with elements of black metal and grindcore. Vocals are always high-pitched and raspy giving their music that nasty, brooding vibe that black metal does so well and the loose, short bursts of almost free-form song-writing definitely lend themselves heavily to hardcore and grind. Thankfully, despite all these elements coming into play, they manage to fuse in a way that makes Art of Burning Water’s music sound utterly ferocious. Let Me Let You Finish is the perfect example of all these musical styles coming together harmoniously and it’s a terrifying and scattershot explosion of disgusting metal that demands your attention. Please start paying attention to what Art of Burning Water are doing because a band like this shouldn’t be so criminally overlooked. 8/10