Album Review: Harbinger Of Storms – “Talos EP” 7/10 (Doom/Gothic)

Written by Dune

  • Harbinger of Storms
  • Talos
  • Epic Doom Metal, Gothic Metal
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Score: 7/10

For Fans Of: Candlemass, Novembers Doom, Solitude Aeturnus, Clan of Xymox, My Dying Bride, Virgin Black.

Harbinger of Storms is the work of one-man bedroom producer Shane Edward Semler. “Talos” is the companion to his last EP release, “Jupiter”. Everything about this EP has a mythical quality to it. Always having a strong interest in mythology myself, I was sucked in by the cover art. A huge winged automaton towers over a scene of fleeing livestock and peasants. Guarding them? Or poised to wreak havoc? Defined as Epic Doom Metal, I’m hoping for havoc and impending doom.

Instantly distorted guitars and driving gallop kick off the EP with a metallic drive. Well produced with full gritty bass and cavernous drum sound, definitely an epic vibe here.

Echoey villainous vocals introduce the main character TALOS, a bronze clockwork guardian of Crete, ready to defy his creators and “defend them no more”. A backdrop of thick guitars  consistently dominate the track, propelled along by the driving bass. Filtered vocals repeat “The sky is raining lead” throughout the chorus over melodic lead lines which wind in and out of the track. A solid start and forerunner for what is to come.

Eerie stringy stabs (keys?) punctuate second track  “The Ravishing of Ampitrite”  The foundation of creamy super fuzzed out wall of guitars is well established across the EP and supports a feel of cities burning while destruction rains all around as bludgeoning drums punch the tracks along.

Harbinger Of Storms: Bandcamp / Instagram

Operatic verse vocals in “Cruel Tales”  trade off against doomy growling while a solid rhythm section lays back, letting nice crunchy bass take over for a bit. All the melodic colouring over this EP (there is even a flute solo!) is always tasteful and helps to strengthen the epic, mythic vibe. The same thick guitar tone across all tracks really ties everything together well. The last track “Bacchanal Rite” starts off with a Pulsing organs, thundering tom heavy drums, drilling distorted tremolo and chugging rhythm guitars fill out an instrumental track. More flute melodies and background noises of a feast/party/pleasuring/screaming  and some demonic laughing too? (could just be me?)

Brooding cover art that looks like a hand painting, possibly by the artist himself? Regardless, a large amount of time has been spent researching the subject matter and history here. There are 4 tracks and the EP runs for 16 minutes, everything has been done to a very high standard of quality. The lyrics are heavily based on mythology “Poseidon, I’m God of the waves/ Neptune, deity of the abyss,” but this is exactly what I felt had been promised and always serves the stories being told. Song writing is also strong here, the tracks are consistent but never samey. I loved the overarching mythical concepts.

Standouts for me: the watery guitar solo with mini drum solo in the 2nd track, it has such a dreamy vibe which suits the material and story perfectly. The drums sound massive on the whole release, reverberating underneath all of the other instrumentation and always complimenting the song writing. I liked that the closer was an instrumental, and thought that it rounded out the release really well.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the epic doom genre, this is an easily digestible offering that will likely appeal to any listeners of a variety of different heavy genres. Available on 1st of September 2020. A great release that sounds as good as it looks. Give it a spin!


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