Hard, Heavy, Harvested
Jagged Vision has left themselves to be a band still undiscovered, with only a label bio, Facebook and Bandcamp profile. This band does not seem established in a traditional sense, but they are an established band nonetheless. These guys just take the natural approach with their music and presence, or so they have done to this date. Consisting of songwriter Ole Wik on lead vocals, guitarists Daniel Vir and Harald Nelson Lid, Kato Austrått on bass and Joakim Svela on drums, Jagged Vision has caught the eye of like-minded individuals and released their first pro-produced record. Phillip Cope of Kylesa assisted in the production of the album and we have got to say that Harvest Earth is pretty heavy stuff.
So here is the long and short of Jagged Vision, from Stavanger, Norway. They are signed to the newly formed label Retro Futurist. The label itself only came onto the scene this year and holds only a handful of bands.
The trip is that this band refers to themselves and the music they make as “stoner hardcore.” This self-prescribed title implies lots of vocal growling and a slow, sludge-like tempo with possible heavy and quick riffs– well, quick compared to typical “stoner” sound that is usually much more groove like.
Nerd Alert: To discuss this album, it is crucial to deconstruct music genres. From Last.fm to sludge blogs and even the Red Bull Music Academy, everyone has something to say about categorization. So, the songs as listed are broken down to present curious elements of self-description. If the readers want to hear this argument for themselves, we invite all to give the band a headful and follow along for yourself. The full album is available for preview on the label’s Bandcamp.
It is difficult to legitimatize arguments of music and genre definitions without discussing things like math, technical attributes, musicianship and overall production. So, much like a frog on a lab table, here we go. Get your lab coat on!
“Darkness in Light” has some prevalent psychedelic guitar bars and traditional rock rhythm elements. Hard rock would be an accurate representation of the music theory behind the construction of the song, but left to the speed and sudden quickening in the count the much more heavy approximation of hardcore begins to present itself. Added with the throaty snarls that present themselves lyrically in most of the genre’s content.
“No Peace” has a technical bridge that is almost too concentrated to be stoner or sludgy. Skill level is average but precession is key. “Shadows Glide” is fast and bright. Far too bright to be sludge and far too fast to be stoner, but definitely heavy ended and hardcore.
“Supernova” – So many songs or album titles with this name are superLONG. And the word usually presents itself with an element that is universal or groovy. Well, “Supernova” is groovy; “Groove metal” would be most appropriate. Clocked at only 5:53, it’s not too long; it’s actually appropriate for this category.
“Electric Empire” starts with the hook and reels it in with heavy rock orchestration. Not to say the other songs on the album are not of head banging quality, but we would have to conclude that this song would be the thrasher song on record.
“Trapped Forever” has a better pitch and tempo for sludge, but it’s still very hard rock, while “Spiritual Invasion” takes a nearly experimental approach and branches out with a secondary vocalist. The final track on Harvest Earth is “Lose Control.” We present the question to you: Have they?