Monday 15 September 2014

Prosperina - Harness-Minus (Album Review)

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 03rd November 2014
Label: Maybe Records

Harness-Minus - track listing:

01 Chase To The Throne
02 Cult Leader's Handbook
03 Proles
04 Codes
05 Here Lie The Ruins
06 Ship Of Fools
07 Graveyard Of Ambition
08 Bridges
09 Sleepers
10 Sgwd Henrhyd


Presenting their inimitable and impressive brand of left-field, cliff-shearing riffage - married to an infectiously melodic and hooky bite -South Wales’ Prosperina released their debut Faith In Sleep to widespread critical acclaim at the tail end of 2012. Variously lauded by the mainstream rock press as “extremely accomplished” – Kerrang! “gorgeous” – Metal Hammer, and “expertly cohesive” – Rocksound, plaudits and comparisons soon ran the gauntlet from Tool to Soundgarden, Pink Floyd to Kyuss, Mastodon to A Perfect Circle and several points in-between.

The rousing choruses and powerful anthemic quality of the band’s widescreen workouts occasionally belie the highly developed musical and rhythmic complexity kicking away just below the surface. Likewise their masterly control of dynamics and pacing further aids the extraction of the pop from the prog and the drone from the doom. It’s an attractive mix.


Gethin Woolcock - Vocals/Guitar
Owen Street - Bass
Yotin Walsh - Drums


Prosperina released a stunning debut album called Faith To Sleep back in 2012, which was acclaimed for its style of Progressive Stoner/Sludge Metal riffs that saw the band being compared to Kyuss, ISIS and TOOL all in one go. Prosperina music crosses a lot of different boundaries such as Prog Rock, Sludge, Stoner and hints of Post-Metal for one uncompromising slab of heavy riffs.

Prosperina’s new album Harness-Minus is where the band finally comes into their existence. This is a band finally announcing their arrival to the Hard Rock/Metal world as their 2nd album is a powerhouse of heavy noises and riffs with a stirring social message attached. Opening track – Chase To The Throne – shows that Prosperina have lost none of their progressive magic as they expertly play a track that echoes different moods to embrace yourself with. Hints of Progressive Stoner Metal are matched with a more dangerous Sludge Rock vibe running through it’s veins.

Second track – Cult Leader’s Handbook – is possibly one of the albums standout tracks as it’s a loud angry wake-up call to the dis-satisfied people in the world told through pummelling progressive sludgy riffs and a blistering chorus which lead vocalist Gethin who sings with passionate conviction. As with all good musical trio’s, Prosperina make every note count as they impress you with their fast-paced riffs whilst making you feel uncomfortable at the same time. As Prosperina venture into dark territories on the album and this song is a prime example of this though the mood becomes darker as time progresses.

3rd track – Proles – sees the band in a more reflective mood whilst maintaining their dangerous hard-rocking edge as they have written a pounding thumping anthem for the masses. The guitars are HUGE with intense drumming holding the bleak atmospherics together for a punishing onslaught of sludge/stoner riffs for you to chew on. Prosperina turn into bona-fide future Stadium Rock warriors with this track as it's one of the finest tracks they have written.

The first 3 songs from Harness-Minus will show you what is in store for the rest of the album. Powerful and crushing tunes that draw a fine line between Sludge, Stoner, Post-Metal and Prog-Rock. Though Prosperina show their tender caring side on slow-paced tune – Here Lies The Ruins – that contains a more ambient soothing post-rock vibe compared to the harder-hitting earlier tracks. It’s good to see that Prosperina can mix the different sounds and styles of their music to fine dramatic effect.

Harness-Minus is a complex sounding album at times as you can tell that Prosperina don’t stick to one set route with their sound. It’s a progressive mind field at times. They even include ambient-based drone on Ship Of Fools. A two minute song that I would never of expected here but it’s good that Prosperina try many different sounds and still sound so good. Though it’s the heavier based tracks where Prosperina mean business as it gives Harness-Minus a huge sounding atmosphere that is very hard to beat.

We have already seen their Welsh Sludge/Stoner Metal brothers in arms – H A R K and Sigiriya – release critically acclaimed albums of their own and you can now put Prosperina along with them as one of the more exciting Sludge/Stoner Metal bands coming from the Welsh Hard Rock/Metal scene. Prosperina end the album on a bleak note with – Sgwid Henrhyd – that is named after the tallest Waterfall in South Wales.

Yeah I had to do some research for that one but it was worthwhile as it’s considered such a beautiful and important landmark to the people of South Wales. It’s a haunting and powerful tune with a spellbinding voice-over giving the song such an emotional vibe to it. It evokes memories of much-missed UK Sludge/Drone/Doom/Post-Metal collective – Fall of Erfara. As it carries the same emotional weight that legendary band is known for. Prosperina add a one final huge blast of noise to impress you with. It gives the album such a haunting feel that Harness-Minus is an outstanding album that will win Prosperina many plaudits in the months to come. It’s an epic album that is simply unmissable.

Thanks to Prosperina for sending me a promo to review. Harness-Minus will be available to buy on CD/DD from Maybe Records from November 3rd 2014.

Check The Band Form Links below

Written by Steve Howe

Check The Video for Cult Leader's Handbook.