Release Details

LABEL Nuclear War Now! Productions
RELEASED ON 3/15/2017
GENRES Death,Black
  • The "sweet spot".

Harvest Gulgaltha

Altars of Devotion

posted on 2/2017   By: Dave Schalek

Harvest Gulgaltha resides at that “sweet spot” at the intersection of black and death metal. You’ll get a heavy vibe of bands such as Teitanblood and Vasaeleth from this outfit (information is scant) from Arizona, but the pace is a bit slower. Toss in doom metal as a component of Harvest Gulgaltha as it takes on all three genres and runs with it.

A few months back, I enthusiastically endorsed the band’s 2012 demo, I, in a Fast Rites article when it was given a wider release from Nuclear War Now! Productions. NWN! capitalizes, of course, with Altars Of Devotion, the first proper full-length release from Harvest Gulgaltha (a compilation of three EPs called Necrosophic was released in 2013).

Altars Of Devotion is crushingly heavy with a thick, dense production anchored very solidly on the low end. The bass lumbers in the background, and the percussion hits with great force. The tempo is generally slow with a few upticks towards the occasional gallop and/ or blastbeat, and the production is a bit less murky than that of I. The result is a more organic sound with greater clarity, but the atmosphere is still as rancid as ever, a prerequisite for this particular subgenre. The grating vocals fall somewhere in between a rasp and a growl, perfect for this style, and a few muted, high pitched backing wails make sporadic appearances.

Altars Of Devotion probably suffers a bit from a certain “sameness” to the music, a “sameness” that was easy to ignore on a five song demo, particularly one with a murky sound. The greater length of a proper full-length album combined with a greater clarity to the production probably exposes some of the weaknesses in Harvest Gulgaltha’s delivery, but, you could argue that the weakness is inherent to the genre, especially when delivered at a pace that doesn’t change all that much.

Nevertheless, Harvest Gulgaltha does the job well enough, delivering a pretty good album of…. yep, black/death/doom metal.