FELL HARVEST “Pale Light In A Dying World”
By Dr. Abner Mality
If there’s any such thing as a generic all-purpose doom metal album title, “Pale Light In A Dying World” has got to be it. The guy who came up with that wasn’t even trying that hard.
However, Wyoming’s FELL HARVEST have an earnestness to their music that makes them likable. Doing underground metal in Cheyenne, Wyoming can’t be very easy and I’m hard pressed to name another band from there. Also, I discovered that lead vocalist/bassist Joseph Fell was knocked for a loop by Covid-19 during the recording period for this record and it had a profound effect on his vocals. Originally able to do death growls and black metal screams, the rotten bug forced him to use clean vocals almost exclusively here. That’s some hard luck, right there.
FELL HARVEST is generally a doom metal band with touches of seminal acts like PARADISE LOST and CANDLEMASS, but there’s also an almost classic rock feel to some of it, as well as a METALLICA influence from their more commercial period. The songs are heartfelt but seem very, very “by the numbers” and in the shadow of the bands mentioned above. It doesn’t reach the next level, yet you do have the impression they are trying hard.
Of the six songs here, “The Lark At Morning” and “The Ghosts of Scapa Flow” are two strong and traditional doom metal cuts packed with mournful, heavy riffs. “Titanicide” really isn’t doom at all, but rather something like a faster METAL CHURCH cut with a METALLICA feel on the vocals. Mr. Fell does have a strong Hetfield flavor to some of his singing. Wrapping things up is the folk ballad “The Wind That Shakes The Barley”, which gets heavy half way through, and the routine title track and “Thy Barren Fields”.
To sum it up, “The Pale Light In A Dying World” is a serviceable doomy album but not too much more than that.