Shaman’s Harvest // Rebelator // Album Review

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Missouri rockers Shaman’s Harvest return with REBELATOR, their first album in five years. The album will be released on 11th March via Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group.

The Missouri rockers have laid a foundation in groove-laden hefty rock with a southern charm and Rebelator is no exception.  The album opener ‘Under Your Skin’ set’s the bar quite high with a blistering opener that says “We’re Back” 

The guys have a swagger about them that resonates on each and every track, slamming guitar riffs, bitchin’ solos and huge sounding melodic anthems ensure that all the magical ingredients required to ensure Shaman’s Harvest return are there to keep their army of hungry fans happy. 

The guys have a melodic element in their songwriting that creates a radio-friendly sound that will resonate right from the off. Easy on the ear but gritty enough to make you want to dig your teeth in,  “This was the hardest record we’ve ever made, on every level,” says Nathan Hunt, referring to Shaman’s Harvest’s seventh LP. “A tornado ripped through our town, 2 miles from our studio, levelling everything in its path” recalls guitarist Josh Hamler.  “Luckily, no one was killed”. “There was so much stop and go,” adds Hunt. “There was a flood. Then somebody would have to go home, or we’d have a fucking tornado.” “Or we’d run out of money,” Hamler adds with a laugh. “It was like Murphy’s law at one point—like, Jesus, what else is going to go wrong in the making of this record?”

The storyline seems obvious: The Missouri hard-rockers assembled this project during a global pandemic that debilitated the entire music industry. “Hard” has been universal lately, but the road to Rebelator was even rockier than the band expected.

In March 2021, Hunt had to make a life-changing decision whether to amputate his leg or not.

Whilst working in construction a decade ago, Hunt excavated an army base site when the edge gave way. He crashed 20ft to the bottom, crushing his ankle. Years of surgery followed, slowly, the leg below the knee was rebuilt. “I’d get healed up only to realise the problem was worse off,” he remembers. Eventually, a hospital bed was brought into his home, and he filled his days writing.

As he began to walk again, he was diagnosed with throat cancer brought on by a rare autoimmune disease. “It didn’t take long to realise I would never again support the family with construction, so I just went headlong into making music,” he reflects. “Some dark stuff came from that period. I feel as a man you can’t really express that loneliness, so I’d put it in melody,” he says. This fed into 2014’s Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns. “It’s something I felt I could tap into for the writing of Rebelator.”

He recovered from throat cancer, but the leg got worse. Prolific on the road, nightly, they prowled stages on their relentless touring; Nickelback, Cheap Trick, Seether, Black Stone Cherry and In This Moment. They shared the biggest stages with AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Killswitch Engage, Stone Sour, Godsmack, Shinedown, Rob Zombie, Ghost and more. They smashed through each set, and every night, Hunt pushed through the pain barrier. “The fellas in the band cover the stage movement, the jumping and all the high energy, while I’m able to really internalise and project from a place of emotion,” he explains.

Rebelator was finished, but Hunt’s pieced-together leg continued to deteriorate. He started the search for a doctor who would amputate so he at least would be able to walk with a prosthetic. “I wasn’t apprehensive about the decision or anything. I was hopeful. A world without the same pain all the time seemed unreal but possible,” he says.

In May 2021, as they released their first new song in three years, “Bird Dog,” he found hope and a doctor who replaced the joint and rebuilt the Achilles. Today he says,” I’m still recovering and probably will over the next year or so, but I’m already better off than I was before the procedure. It’s giving me a newfound focus on the things that are important to me. Like slaying crowds, and being present and active for my new daughter. I feel like I’ve been given the tools to have a higher quality in life.”

The story itself could be something out of a movie, it almost sounds like fiction it’s that crazy but somehow these guys have managed to pull it together to release a recording they should be immensely proud of. A testament to their ability to overcome and shine, for that reason alone you should take the time to acknowledge an album of real quality. 

Shaman’s Harvest
New Album: REBELATOR
First Album In Five Years
Released 11 March 2022 Via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group

Pre-Order Here
Tracklisting
1.  Under Your Skin
2. Toe the Line
3. Flatline
4. Voices
5. Wildfire
6. Lilith
7. Mama
8. Hurricane
9. Pretty People (ft. Clint Lowery)
10. Wishing Well
11. Bird Dog
Shaman’s Harvest // Rebelator // Album Review
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