The Welsh did not leave any detail to chance, but carefully crafted music, lyrics and visuals into an all encompassing concept. This diligence includes having their first full-length mixed by Kurt Ballou of Converge fame, who added a powerful yet crystal clear production to HARK‘s unique sound. The album was recorded at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales (BLACK SABBATH, RUSH, JUDAS PRIEST, PORTISHEAD), and mixed by CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou (CONVERGE, HIGH ON FIRE, KVELERTAK). The cover artwork for 'Crystalline' illustrated by HARK's acclaimed graphic artist and guitarist/vocalist Jimbob Isaac (ex-TAINT) further defines the band as a truly dedicated creative entity. HARK has already released the 'Mythopoeia' 7” single, which they managed to sell out on tours with RED FANG and CLUTCH.The Welsh progressive-power-sludge trio carry TAINT's torch forward, passed on from their legacy that began in 1994. With fresh chops and almighty riff power, HARK continue to fuse punk attack with Sabbathian dirge, and decorate post-whatever angularities with classic rock flourish. While Isaac's vocals expand on his tried and tested palette, his lyrics continue to shatter prose with bleak metaphor and acerbic spittle.
The HARK engine bring an OCD approach to song craft, and endlessly creative pummel. Their dynamic chops and blood lust for riffs meld with Isaac's honed and equally determined musical vision. The album presents a honed, and uniquely crafted movement of riffs, groove, progressive articulation, and energized punk bluster. The climactic closer 'Clear Light Of…' also features a special guest vocal appearance, from Clutch's Neil Fallon. Regarding the recording of ‘Crystalline’, main man Jimbob Isaac stated: "Fingers to the bone. That has been one of our mottos since HARK's inception, and it carried us through to the recording studio.
Long days, little sleep and grim determination made this record the beast that we believe it to be. We pushed ourselves in all kinds of ways, and that commitment resonates throughout. " A few more words about the record, and Neil Fallon's special guest appearance: "During our tour with Clutch last year, Neil Fallon said to me "That song...the one with the King Crimson-like gallop section...I love it!" and raised his hands together to the sky. During the album recording, the almost holy image of Neil's enthusiasm for the song came into my mind, so to complete the picture I asked him to guest.
As Neil inspired me to form my first band (Taint) as a 16 year old, watching Clutch in 1993, I'm humbled that Neil is now singing on something I recorded. The snake has truly eaten it's tail. For us, to pursue art and music, is to expand our consciousness, is to purge and is our two fingers up to those who say we can't. Awaken, all ye algorithmic soul seekers, crystalline realization awaits you." Read more on Last.fm.
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