June 20, 2017

Datura - The Harrowing

By Karen A. Mann. North Carolina’s Datura takes an all-inclusive approach on their metal odyssey, touching on thrash, doom, sludge, black metal and even a little prog on The Harrowing, their first full-length release.
By Karen A. Mann.


North Carolina’s Datura takes an all-inclusive approach on their metal odyssey, touching on thrash, doom, sludge, black metal and even a little prog on The Harrowing, their first full-length release. The band ventures out in many musical directions -- sometimes at an angry, Crowbar-esque plod, but more often at breakneck speed --on the album’s eight songs. But their main avenue of choice is old school death metal, the type that would have fans of Carcass, Slayer and Death banging their heads.

The album opens with “Keeper of the Light,” which begins in doom territory, then speeds up angrily and quickly. Two of Datura’s most distinctive elements quickly reveal themselves: the unholy growl of vocalist Kellie Gates and the sweet, clean leads of guitarists Allen Foster and Raymond King. These two elements work together to make The Hallowing so effective. Gates’ scathing voice combines with raw guitar melodies and a punishing rhythm section (courtesy of bass player Adam Cohen and drummer Brian Watson) to create a beastly wall of sound, with those clean elements ripping through. Back-to-back songs “Battle Worn” and “Charm of the Rat King” showcase the band’s strengths.

But while Datura is always heavy, their sound isn’t always aggressive. The title song is a soft instrumental with haunting, shimmering riffs. That’s just a short break before the band roars back with “Haxan,” an angry thrasher that slows down to a sludgy crawl. The Harrowing ends with the band’s most ambitious song, “WVLFCVNT,” which builds up ominously with shimmering guitars before throwing a thrashy punch and settling into a death ‘n’ roll groove.

Datura’s willingness to explore keeps their sound from ever growing stagnant, and yet they always remain consistent and cohesive. The Harrowing is a harbinger of exciting things to come from this band.

Tagged with 2017, Datura, death metal, doom metal, Karen A. Mann, thrash metal
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