Best Metal Band - 2005
A Sunday evening at 6:30 is not the coveted slot on a bill for a metal band, especially at the Duck Room. No offense to the Duck, but cheerful mallard decoys and tasteful lithographs don't provide the optimum ambiance for blasphemous war metal. Factor in that Lael Clark, guitarist and founding member of Harkonin, is no longer in the band and that the RFT Music Awards Showcase crowd skews a little too good-timey and ironic for Harkonin's style of sincere, soul-crushing hate and you have the makings of a very bad scene. Harkonin specializes in bad scenes. Vokillist Jason Baron eyed the crowd sullenly, grunted a pint of blood down the front of his shirt and strafed the room with croaking invocations of fury. Bassist Tom Quach and drummer Clayton Gore strapped on hobnail boots and crushed rib cages with triple-time thuds. Matt Coyle throttled a maelstrom out of sixsixsix strings, summoning excoriating howls that flayed faces and charred souls. Two diehards created the nucleus of a pit while half the crowd headed aboveground. The half that remained was baptized in the blackest fires of Hell, courtesy of our masters, our tormentors, our warlords. Hail Harkonin!