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Did Harlott Rip-Off Slayer?

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It’s hard to accuse a modern thrash band of stealing from Slayer, because, well… all modern thrash bands (and some not-so-modern thrash bands) owe something to Slayer. The whole genre owes such a massive debt to Slayer that the line between “homage” and “plagiarism” is barely visible.

Still, these seems to step right over it.

In a couple of weeks, the Australian thrash band Harlott will release a new album called Extinction. And on that album, there is a song called “The Penitent” which “borrows” from Slayer’s 1998 song, “Bitter Peace,” in a way that’s hard not to hear. Here:

Basically the same exact thing, right?

Now, if this were the only instance of possible piracy on Harlott’s The Penitent, it might seem like less of a big deal. But the album’s title track features the lyric “Six feet from the rest of your life” — which, of course, is a famous line from Anthrax’s “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.).”

Elsewhere on the album, there’s a track called “And Darkness Brings the Light” (which isn’t available online yet) that utilizes a chord progression and double-bass drum pattern which are basically the chorus to Slayer’s “Bloodline.”

The old cliché goes, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” So does this make Harlott good artists… or great ones?

Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section. Harlott’s Extinction comes out April 7 on Metal Blade.

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