Shaman’s Harvest. Mascot Label Group. 6 Aug 2017
Like so many things in the modern world, the concept of rock music has become fractured and splintered into many different parts, so much so that sometimes it’s difficult to identify the origins of something. I’m very pleased to note that this is not the case for Missouri hard rockers Shaman’s Harvest.
I’ve been listening to these guys for a few years now, and have always appreciated their dark take on rootsy rock. Their new long player, Red Hands Black Deeds is a more-than-worthy addition to the band’s catalogue, and has an instant feel of familiarity about it, while remaining fresh throughout.
Doing a bit of research, it turns out this was achieved by taking a fresh approach to recording for the new album, where the guys enlisted the services of a new producer keen to shake things up until everything was outside the box. The result is fantastic!
I was interested to learn that Shaman’s Harvest have been around a lot longer than the seven or eight years that I’ve known of them, having first started way back in the ’90s! Their desire to take a fresh approach to this new album is understandable, and there’s a definite energy here. For me, the biggest plus is their embrace of all things aurally vintage. Apparently, the band (and producer) wanted to utilise only analogue equipment on the album, and the result is a fantastic raw vintage sound that makes it feel like a well-worn leather jacket, which retains that new-car-smell!
Stylistically, there’s a lot in here. Classic mid-western rock is at the heart (Missouri, bordered by Kansas to the west and Illinois to the east is fairly central US, but according to American logic, it’s very much the heart of the farming mid-west), with a rootsy, almost country-esque vibe going on… think whiskey-soaked denim, trucks, and vast farmland; like a northern version of Creedence’s southern roots vibe, or a rootsier Queens Of The Stone Age.
On top of that, there’s a very dark, bluesy streak supplemented by plenty of distorted guitars and heavy grinding bass. The overall feel of the album is reminiscent of a rootsier Alice In Chains, with hard-edged grunge prowess to match.
The mood does lighten on a few tunes, like the rollicking Off The Tracks, mellow Long Way Home, or gentle A Longer View, with plenty of balls-out rock on tunes like bluesy Soul Crusher, thumping So Long, and driving first single The Come Up. Be sure to wait for the “secret” track right at the end too; Hookers And Blow… I need say no more!
Shaman’s Harvest has done a great job with this one. Check it out now!
Red Hands Black Deeds is the sixth studio album by the American rock band Shaman's Harvest. It was released on July 28, 2017.
Sharman's Harvest is Nathan Hunt on lead vocals, Josh Hamler on rhythm guitar, Matt Fisher on bass, Derrick Shipp on lead guitar, and Adam Zemanek on drums.
1. Red Hands and Black Deeds (Prelude)
2. Broken Ones
3. The Come Up
4. A Longer View
5. Soul Crusher
6. Off the Tracks
7. Long Way Home
8. The Devil in Our Wake
9. Blood Trophies
10. So Long
11. Tusk and Bone