When I talk about heavy albums I think I might have to use No Bastards as a shining example. This isn't just heavy because it's loud, it's heavy because the noise picks you up and slams you down. It feels like stepping outside in 100 degree heat and 100% humidity, it feels like being covered in a million gallons of tar. There's moments like the beginning of Old Bull Thrower where it feels like Jimmy Reeves is in the room grabbing you by the back of the head and screaming the lyrics right into your face. It's hard not to feel utterly energized and pumped up by the rhythm section punctuating everything else.
The album knows when it needs to build things up and also when to let things go. Right when things might be heating up a bit too much the album pulls back a little and gives you time to catch your breath and recover your senses. Lyrically speaking the album is actually hopeful and optimistic despite being screamed at you at a hundred miles an hour. It might sound counterproductive but the band makes it work here. There's also some pretty big names that guest on this album. You might recognize the vocals of genre stalwart Norma Jean's Cory Brandan as well as Greyhaven's Brent Mills. They make their presence known and bring some flavor to No Bastards.
I'd go out on a limb and say No Bastards is the perfect summer album. It feels like being left out in the heat. Harvester have crafted a debut that rises above most, it shows a mastery of the craft that is unseen for a first outing. The band knows when to hit hard and when to take things easy and the ebb and flow of the album makes it something that can easily survive multiple listens without tiring out the listener. Clocking in at 30 minutes over 11 songs the album is a bit short but it only leaves you wanting more. Harvester have planted some amazing seeds with No Bastards and deserve to reap the rewards.