Playing with expectations is always something I appreciate with anything in life. With music, we see this in genre-bending artists or simply people that want to challenge your preconceived notions of what something is. It took me a long time to recognize that metal and heavy artists don’t always have to chug out oversized-load riffs and guttural screams to be hard or heavy – sometimes you can achieve a similar affect with emotional weight and atmosphere.
This ethos and sonic approach is something our latest premiere has to offer. Welcome South Harbour to the progressive metal fold, a Denmark trio that’s intent on stretching the definitions of what metal and heaviness are like so many other great bands have before. Today, we’ll take a look (and listen) to the next single from their upcoming debut album A Withered World in Colour which comes out on October 19. It’s called “As I Gaze into an Uncertain Future” and it brings with it a haunting, mysterious video to soak in.
This song is equal parts delicate and sinister. Lighter tones convey an ethereal beauty that’s embedded in the soul of the track, where the more dense melodies command an atmosphere that chills and entices. You feel watched, followed, much like actress Pernille Rosengren in the video whose head and eyes dart around the landscape as it’s covered by a mysterious, all-encompassing smoke. The music similarly surrounds you – the climax of the track ascends to a post-rock feel with drowning guitars providing a canvas on which the soaring vocals can paint. Drums lead the song through its journey like a shrouded ferryman taking you to places you’ve never seen before, your interest piqued and adrenaline primed for any situation.
This is music that basks you in tranquility, inviting you in its arms. Even with the tinge of ambivalence, you never feel threatened, but challenged. Can you hold eye contact with the light South Harbour shine through their elegant prog metal, or will you close your eyes and fall into its warm embrace? No matter the path, you are welcomed as you are.
A Withered World in Colour aims to be a promising, truly standout effort in prog metal’s far-reaching realm, whether it’s your first visit or your old haunt. This is only one of nine distinct offerings on the album, each utilizing different guests and approaches to create a versatile experience for anyone willing to meet it halfway. To sate your curiosity, and also just look at awesome art, here’s the album’s cover and tracklist to close us out:
You can make your future a tad more certain by liking the band on Facebook and following them on Instagram. No preorder details for A Withered World in Colour yet, but you can listen to their other single “Svalbard” while you wait for October 19 to creep its way into view. Thanks to the South Harbour for entrusting us with this great premiere!