The Man-Eating Tree sounds like a band who play fantasy metal or something similar right? After all a man eating tree sounds like something that would come straight out of Narnia or perhaps a Neil Gaiman novel. That’s exactly what I thought before I put “Harvest”, however, this is not correct in the slightest. A little bit of research showed me that The Man-Eating Tree is a band that was formed by the drummer from Sentenced, Vesa Ranta, after that band broke up.
Now, I’m not incredibly familiar with Sentenced, having only heard a few songs and never a full album, but I do know I didn’t think much of what I had heard of that band. As a result I turned on “Harvest” with incredibly low expectations.
One of the great things about having low expectations however, is that you also win as if the album in question sucks then your expectations have been met. If it’s good your expectations have been exceeded.
Now, having said all of that, is “Harvest” any good? The answer to that question is a resounding, Hell Yeah! In fact, “Harvest” and the band’s preceding debut album are so good I am going to be shocked if the band doesn’t turn out to be mega rockstars within the next few years. A strong statement to be sure, but true nonetheless.
How does the band sound? Kind of similar to Type O Negative but with Eddie Vedder on vocals instead of Peter Steele. Sounds weird right? Absolutely not. Trust me this sounds amazing.
The album starts off with a quiet instrumental and opens up with the stunning ‘At the Green Country Chapel’, a moody rocker that really sets the pace for the rest of the album-mid paced heavy rockers that transfix the listener. ‘Code of Surrender’ follows in a similar vein with an even hookier chorus that just begs for the song to be put on repeat. Of particular note are two other songs: ‘Armed’ which is the album’s single and video-It is by far the best song on the album. Just listen to it and tell me these guys aren’t destined for great things.
The other song of note is the cover of Type O Negative‘s “Everything Dies”, one of my all time favorite Type O songs. At first, I didn’t think that singer Tuomas Touminen could match the original as his voice is quite different from Steele‘s, but it works and makes a touching tribute to the late singer.
While not all of the songs are fantastic and there are a couple of clunkers, I really hope that this is just a foreshadowing of the greatness to come from the band as when they write a good song, it’s really good. Check them out as soon as you can.