Music ReviewsSarah Halter Embraces Dark Modern-Metal with “A Clockwork Destiny”

Kylie ThomasOctober 29, 2021

One of the coolest things about local music is getting the chance to hear unique, original music before the artist is known; it’s like a little secret that you get your hands on first. This incredible little secret comes in the form of A Clockwork Destiny, the haunting beautiful, modern-metal, two-track single by Sarah Halter was released on Oct. 29.  

Halter first came into the music scene with their solo acoustic EP release titled Little Grave Digger. Soon after the EP, Halter joined the metal band Blue Clutch that recently disbanded earlier this year. Now they’ve come back to their roots of solo music with a DIY style release that shows off just how talented they are. 

Some musicians play bass and sing vocals on their tracks or play guitar and sing vocals, however, Halter takes things to a new level by performing and recording everything except for the drums. The drums were performed and recorded by Daniel Stephens (agent57music) whom they met through the social media platform TikTok. Then the single release was mixed by Hatler with help from Matt Very from Very Tight Recordings.

The first single of the release is the title track “A Clockwork Destiny” which incorporates a mix of sub-metal genres to create a heavy-hitting introduction to Halter’s mind. The track blends evocative, heavenly vocals with powerful screams and guitar solos that won’t let you soon forget Halter.

What starts off as an angelic melody of soothing sounds quickly tumbles into a build-up of emotions. The once soft and quiet begins to fill with hefty guitar riffs and intense drum rudiments. It takes you to the darkest places in your brain and lets you release all that pent-up pressure into this progressive metal track.

In Halter’s work, there are so many different techniques and rock/metal genres that allow this single to shine. Escalating heavy-metal guitars follow near-operatic singing and eerie screaming. These methods are seen again in their Evanescence reminiscent second single track “Frozen Magnolias.”

This song takes more alternative influences than the latter that make the listener bang their head along with Halter’s story. The tempo changes throughout add a variation and keep you on your toes, intrigued by what’s to come next. The instrumentals in the song feature guitar solos that sound like classic metal solos mixed with short nuances of modern metal and alternative bands. 

What’s impressive about their music is that Halter has all these separate elements of guitar, vocals, screaming, etc. and you would never know they were all done by the same person. Sure they all fit together so cohesively but each element has little inflictions that push them out from the others and add diversity to the music. When you have a song where all the parts sound the same, it’s mundane, boring but Halter is sure not to bore the listener for even a second.

Halter is a name to look out for in the Pittsburgh music scene. With a boatload of talent and imagination, they are adding a new flavor to the local metal scene. It seems that in just these two tracks, Halter has found a way to master mixing genres and putting their own spin on music people have loved for decades. It’ll be interesting to see where their destiny takes them next in the music industry.