The Man-Eating Trees

The Man-Eating Tree – Harvest Review

The Man-Eating Tree – Harvest Review

I’m part of a small minority of metal fans that heard of Finland’s Fall of the Leafe and loved what they did. Although they began life as a black metal band, they eventually morphed into a unique type of progressive gothic metal and their 2005 Vantage album is one of my all time favorites. It had a special, moody atmosphere that I return to often (largely due to the strange but brilliant vocal work of Toumas Tuominen). Sadly, the Leafe called it a day in 2007 and their compelling style was silenced. However, from the acorn of the great Leafe arose The Man-Eating Tree, another interesting forest-themed entity with Tuominen on vocals and many of the same winning characteristics and flavor. Their 2010 album Vine was a pleasantly moody, typically Finnish exercise in melancholy gothic rock/metal and their sophomore followup Harvest is more of the same but even better. The songwriting is tighter, more focused and immediate, the moods are more pronounced and honest and the whole album clicks in a way that recalls the finer moments of Fall of the Leafe without plagiarizing their sound completely. Although most similar to Fall of the Leafe, there are also flashes of Sentenced (same drummer), lighter Opeth and late-period Katatonia. This is not a very heavy album and at times, the material barely has anything to do with metal. Even the most aggressive material here won’t rattle teeth or inspire a raised fist. The sound is more about darkened, somber moods, not exactly doom but clearly not happy either. Regardless, this is a great album and deserves to be heard by anyone who likes dark rock overflowing with mood and emotion.