The Man-Eating Tree - Harvest review



Reviewer:
N/A

56 users:
8.27
Band: The Man-Eating Tree
Album: Harvest
Release date: November 2011


01. Harvest Bell
02. At The Green Country Chapel
03. Code Of Surrender
04. Armed
05. Like Mute Companions
06. Exhaled
07. Down To The Color Of The Eye
08. Incendere
09. All You Kept Free
10. Karsikko
11. Everything Dies [Type O Negative cover] [bonus]


Rating in words: pleasant, seductive, well-structured.

The Man-Eating Tree, what a symbolic band name. The band has grown so much over the course of one year, effectively branching* into new territories while at the same time staying firmly rooted** in the same ground - the product of this wonderful change is one of the best gothic metal albums of 2011. Their debut, Vine, an album nominated for the Metal Storm Awards as well, came across as a bit pedestrian to me. It had the same balance of wonderfully gentle and intricate elements, but failed to produce memorable tunes that would stick to my head. Harvest is an enormous improvement in terms of songwriting - it is a lot catchier and more cohesive. While Vine relied on a slightly brooding atmosphere, Harvest is all about song development and progression, which makes it a lot better in my eyes.

Although the focus has been shifted to achieving qualities different than on the first release, the base of The Man-Eating Tree's sound hasn't changed between the two albums. The key word here is layering. Every element alone is soft and intricate - very gentle guitar melodies, keyboards mostly adopting the sound of a classic piano, creative but simple rhythms and, as a cherry on top, the uniquely expressive vocals of Tuomas Tuominen. When there are displays of raging emotion, they're confined to one instrument alone, while others are keeping up with their delicate dance. And yet, when you join them all together, their collective weight crushes you.

I must note that this is one of the bands that makes me wish we made "atmospheric metal" or "(melodic) dark metal" legit sub-genres. There is little or no connection to goth rock or gothic metal of the 90's, but every dreary, bleak and/or overly melodic band is being lumped into the gothic category nevertheless. This might be a sign of genre progression, or, on the other hand, a sign that we use sub-genres as means to describe the atmosphere rather than the sound. This is not the only sub-genre with an identity crisis, but I guess that if it isn't broken, you don't fix it.

Of course, since this band is composed of skilled professionals of (semi) famous Finnish bands, you'll find no flaws there; even though Tuominen is the shining star on the album (he reminds me slightly of Eddie Vedder!), and certain tough guys (hi Rod) have admitted going gay over his wondrous voice, the rest of the band doesn't lag behind at all. The production is top notch as well; the only flaw of this album, and the only song I skip is "Down To The Color Of The Eye", an attempt at delivering a heavier punch that wasn't constructed very well. Lovers of darkness and melodies in their metal should consider this a recommendation.

* Sorry about this, I like lame puns.
** At least you didn't get a lame dendrophilia joke.


 



Written on 12.02.2012 by A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 47   Visited by: 248 users
23.02.2012 - 17:07
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 17:00

Ava Inferi - Onyx
Graveyard - Hisingen Blues (I even liked it more than you )
In Flames albums
Nightwish - Oceanborn
Paradise Lost albums

That's pretty much it besides this one.

Oh well, that is quite enough
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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23.02.2012 - 17:12
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Milena on 23.02.2012 at 17:07
Oh well, that is quite enough


Hey if you dig this kind of gothic I think you should check out Lacrimas Profundere middle period... When they weren't really doom anymore and they weren't goth rock either
Burning: A Wish
Fall, I Will Follow

Those two are some of my favorite "catchy gothic" albums. The first one being more calm and emotional and the other one being more of a badass rock attitude.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.02.2012 - 17:15
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 17:12

Hey if you dig this kind of gothic I think you should check out Lacrimas Profundere middle period... When they weren't really doom anymore and they weren't goth rock either
Burning: A Wish
Fall, I Will Follow

Those two are some of my favorite "catchy gothic" albums. The first one being more calm and emotional and the other one being more of a badass rock attitude.

Duly noted.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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23.02.2012 - 17:43
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 23.02.2012 at 17:40

question


What? Don't understand the question.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.02.2012 - 17:46
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 17:43

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 23.02.2012 at 17:40

question


What? Don't understand the question.


I was saying...did you really like the emotional side of the music??!
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23.02.2012 - 17:55
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 23.02.2012 at 17:46
I was saying...did you really like the emotional side of the music??!


I find this question really stupid. Not to mention that I fail to see what it has to do with whatever I wrote in my profile.

We enjoy music because it touches us in an emotional level... Unless you are a robot.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.02.2012 - 19:17
Slayer666
Written by Milena on 23.02.2012 at 02:18

Mmm hmm. Which 2011 gothic nominees did you like?


Haven't checked them all out just yet, but 2011 was definitively not a good year for Gothic.

Kamlath - Very decent, but I expected a lot more from a line-up like that. Even Benevento (who's simply brilliant in The Foreshadowing) cant make it impressive.
Heavenwood - Less "meh" than this album, but meh nonetheless.
Draconian - Would rate it a very, very low 7, bordering with a 6. Ergo, slightly above average.
NeraNature - Nice and catchy, quite entertaining during the first 4-5 listens. After that, like all catchy but ultimately shallow music, it looses more than half of its appeal. Still, one or two tracks will be spinning for a long while, I guess.

4 more nominees to go, and I'm not getting my hopes up. The Gothic genre needs some innovation ASAP. Or more bands that take the tried and true formula and make it blow me away, like Oionos did last year.
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23.02.2012 - 19:24
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 17:55

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 23.02.2012 at 17:46
I was saying...did you really like the emotional side of the music??!


I find this question really stupid. Not to mention that I fail to see what it has to do with whatever I wrote in my profile.

We enjoy music because it touches us in an emotional level... Unless you are a robot.


that wasn't me!! it was my stupid friend who sat on my laptop when i was away for few minutes. Sorry for that.
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23.02.2012 - 19:25
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Slayer666 on 23.02.2012 at 19:17
4 more nominees to go, and I'm not getting my hopes up. The Gothic genre needs some innovation ASAP. Or more bands that take the tried and true formula and make it blow me away, like Oionos did last year.


The only stuff I found worth the time was Ava Inferi, To Cast A Shadow and this album.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.02.2012 - 19:27
Slayer666
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 19:25

The only stuff I found worth the time was Ava Inferi, To Cast A Shadow and this album.


This one is the weakest of the lot, if you ask me. I'm gonna put my faith in Blasphemer and check out Ava Inferi next. I might be surprised, but I doubt it.
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23.02.2012 - 19:28
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Slayer666 on 23.02.2012 at 19:27
This one is the weakest of the lot, if you ask me. I'm gonna put my faith in Blasphemer and check out Ava Inferi next. I might be surprised, but I doubt it.

Meh. This is far superior and more inspired that more than half of that category.
I found stuff like Kamlath just plain bad.... REALLY shitty production. All the others went from bad to meh as well. Kamlath and Weeping Silence take the price as the worst of the lot for me.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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24.02.2012 - 00:26
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.02.2012 at 19:28

Written by Slayer666 on 23.02.2012 at 19:27
This one is the weakest of the lot, if you ask me. I'm gonna put my faith in Blasphemer and check out Ava Inferi next. I might be surprised, but I doubt it.

Meh. This is far superior and more inspired that more than half of that category.
I found stuff like Kamlath just plain bad.... REALLY shitty production. All the others went from bad to meh as well. Kamlath and Weeping Silence take the price as the worst of the lot for me.

Quoted this comment to quote you both - we kinda share some of our opinions here, pretty neat.

Forgettable: Draconian, Heavenwood, Lake Of Tears (three of the biggest nominees lol), Weeping Silence
Not bad but could be so much more: NeraNature, Kamlath
Very decent: Ravenscry, To Cast A Shadow
Pretty darn good: Ava Inferi and this.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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25.02.2012 - 03:46
omjaimes
omjaimes
I used to hear suomi metal bands, but I dont know what happen with this band ... they have all this catchy elements that I've enjoy but my impression is that particulary this album lacks originality ... dont crucify me but I prefer thousand times hear Entwine, Charon, Poisonblack or even Lovex
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25.02.2012 - 10:29
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by omjaimes on 25.02.2012 at 03:46

I used to hear suomi metal bands, but I dont know what happen with this band ... they have all this catchy elements that I've enjoy but my impression is that particulary this album lacks originality ... dont crucify me but I prefer thousand times hear Entwine, Charon, Poisonblack or even Lovex

Well I don't think TMET actually can be compared to any of those bands... neither the results nor the base of the sound are the same, despite the similiarities. And of course, what the individual man prefers is his own doing, no one will "crucify" you
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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25.02.2012 - 17:36
omjaimes
omjaimes
Why could not be compared? if essentially the elements that characterize it are present in other bands, for example, the catchy melodies, the kind of riffs and arpeggios so common in Finnish rock-metal bands , emotional male voice as the star, and more. I wonder why this band have been so popular in the audience that used to listen bands like the ones I mentioned before, I personally could not find TMET original and remarkable, trying to ignore the accent that sometimes makes the lyrics unintelligible
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25.02.2012 - 21:04
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by omjaimes on 25.02.2012 at 17:36

I wonder why this band have been so popular in the audience that used to listen bands like the ones I mentioned before


Some members from TMET are from bands such as Sentenced and Poisonblack.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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15.08.2012 - 21:30
Mike
This is a very nice review of the album and Milena your puns are appreciated. I recently discovered TMET not long ago and I find their brand of melodic melancholy-ness very enjoyable. Tuomas Tuominen's voice is unique, I don't think I've ever heard anyone else who sounds similar to him, however his vocals lend a rich fresh dimension to the music. TMET is a great band which I hope to hear more from.
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