The Black Heart Rebellion - Har Nevo (Smoke & Dust Records)

The percussion on this release brings it from simply another Post-Rock/Punk experiment, to something captivating.
Release Date: 
15 Feb 2013 (All day)

The thrum of the rolling, paced, flying, gentle, aggressive and definitive percussion of Har Nevo builds a darkly tribal atmosphere to this new release from The Black Heart Rebellion. Over this sit the primal vocals, torn with passion and tender with affection, an instrument and vehicle for the lyrically driven songs from this post-punk/rock group from Belgium. 

Their first release, Monologue, was recorded in a bedroom and mixed carefully crafted soundscapes with distinctly hardcore elements. Har Nevo is a journey, each step unique to the last but cohesive with the exploration of humanity. The songs are build up to a frenzy, centred on simple repeated refrains which take on a meditative air. Rejecting a strict genre, this album floats between experimental percussion, landscapes of sound effects, post-rock guitar lines, echoing deep bass lines and jangling melodies.

Delicate windchimes beckon at the start of Avraham, a slow build of percussion stepping into the droning minor melody, before the tribal drums layer with the heavy breathing vocals. Building increasingly, you are drawn deep within the rhythm by each congruent element. The Woods I Run From is more contemplative and melodic, with a dark folk atmosphere over picked chord progressions, and the ever present slow build and fall, which gives an anticipatory feel to this release.

Circe provides a break to the album with a simple melodic track, introduced by the chime of a bell. Beautiful in its simplicity, The Black Heart Rebellion have not tried to pull something heavier from the music. More furiously driven, Animalesque borrows heavily from post-alt-rock mingling this jangling sound with harsher vocals to create a primal juxtapose, driven once again by amazing percussion driving up into a mid-song dust-stomping frenzy.

The Black Heart Rebellion has not been afraid to draw from a wide variety of musical inspirations. Crawling Low and Eating Dust starts with a rhythmic calypso edge, before withdrawing into a haunting pensive, driven forward by carefully paced percussive breaks. Into The Land of Another rings with the banjo tones of the early-20th century music of the American depression in the south. Gold and Myrrh slithers in, borrowing from middle-eastern desert rhythms.

Ein Avdat evokes the work songs that arise out of human struggling. “I came this far and I ain’t going back no more.” The songs of Har Nevo should not be separated from their lyrics, and call on the present and history of the harsh elements of humanity to try and find a common link.

Har Nevo. It’s not metal, but it’s still good.