Harvest Bell – Wheel Of Foretaste By Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: BloodRock Records – http://bloodrockrecords.blogspot.com
Released: 2013

Harvest Bell Wheel Of Foretaste album cover
Buy album: http://www.svartrecords.com/shoppe/en/cd/2476-harvest-bell-wheel-of-foretaste-mcd.html
Band website: www.facebook.com/harvestbell

Band line-up:

Jussi Helle – Vocals
Petri Härmä – Lead guitar
Tuomas Heinonen – Rhythm guitar
Jarno Mäkinen – Bass
Juho Alhola – Drums



Track listing:

1. Salutation
2. Afterglow
3. Too Hard A Habit


God knows Harvest Bell must get right up the noses of those doom purists. There they are rolling out Sabbath-style riffs on “Salutation”, plodding along in the nicest possible way, and then bam – they go and stick in a slice of hard rock white bread. How very dare they! Doesn’t that just piss you off? Well, maybe if you’re a dick.

You see if you want everything to sound like Sabbath all the time… listen to Sabbath.  Of course only ‘good’ Sabbath. If we’re going to be purist let’s do it right. The rest of us like Sabbath, or not (in that case you’ll agree double with what comes next), but don’t necessarily want every doom band to be hanging around their table, hoovering up breadcrumbs and trying to squash them back into something that vaguely resembles their original form. Got it?

So Harvest Bell.  Finnish doom…ish. The band first started kicking it about in 2006, but let’s skip on a bit because it was the renewed 2012 line-up that saw WHEEL OF FORETASTE make it through the goalposts. If you’re keeping score, then as well as the aforementioned “Salutation”, the EP features “Afterglow” – a melodic-building-to-bass track that paddles in doom’s sorrowful waters.

And then there’s “Too Hard A Habit”, which basically shuns the doom coat Harvest Bell have had draped from their shoulders for most of WHEEL OF FORETASTE in favour of an upbeat rock number. That feels sort of bare in comparison. Maybe we were quick to turn down those Sabbath-looking rolls earlier? “Too Hard A Habit” is not quite ten-a-penny, but you’d be able to find plenty similar for the same money.

As a hard rock band Harvest Bell look much the same as any other match in the box; as a doom-hard rock hybrid they strike a stronger flame. Neither of which will keep the purists happy. But then when are they ever?

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs