Friday, September 05, 2014

Review: Black Anvil - Hail Death

Formed in 2007 from members of the illustrious New York Hardcore group Kill Your Idols comes black/thrash metal outfit Black Anvil. Though the name is not widely spread, the four piece group have unleashed two previous LPs; the latter of which, Triumvirate, was also released via Relapse Records and is regarded as the best card that the group has put on the table. Now the time has come for their third album, simply titled Hail Death.

Genre: Black Metal, Thrash Metal
Release Date: May 24th, 2014
  1. Still Reborn
  2. Redemption Through Blood
  3. Even Tide
  4. Seven Stars Unseen
  5. G.N.O.N.
  6. Until the End
  7. My Hate is Pure
  8. N
  9. Next Level Black
  10. Under the Rose (Kiss Cover)
Total Playtime: 1 hour, 11 minutes, 43 seconds




Rating: 6.0/10





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Formed in 2007 from members of the illustrious New York Hardcore group Kill Your Idols comes black/thrash metal outfit Black Anvil. Though the name is not widely spread, the four piece group have unleashed two previous LPs; the latter of which, Triumvirate, was also released via Relapse Records and is regarded as the best card that the group has put on the table. Now the time has come for their third album, simply titled Hail Death.

Rigged with a densely overproduced and manufactured dynamic sound, the content within Hail Death changes drastically throughout its lengthy presence. Typically this would be regarded as a good thing, but when the material is drifting in a sea of generic brown feculence... well, it doesn't really end up mattering in the long run. The first few frantically paced tracks are black metal paeans with a black n' roll underlay that has been sculpted out of blast beats with double bass kicks and the most generalized guitar riffs imaginable. The only portion of "Still Reborn" and "Redemption Through Blood" that really make an impact on the listener are the quick fingered bass lines, but even this is stretching the line thin. As the album makes its descent, the audience will find that the compositions slowly begin to morph into strange, extraterrestrial doom compositions near "G.N.O.N.".


The only true break that the material gets from the overwhelming tedium of generic new-era black metal and doom is the drudging "Seven Stars Unseen"; this is where the components first begin to take a dip in tempo. The track incorporates fairly creative solos and structures made up of semi-acoustic guitars with a spacey, flanger filled atmosphere in the middle. Wistfully, the drumming regresses to beginner level beats and continues this plunge through other chugging songs like "Next Level Black". During the black metal/black n' roll tracks the drums provide quick blast beats and constant double bass kicks, despite how universal these patterns may be it still takes some stamina and mediocre skill to pull off. However, during the slower paced songs the drummer simply taps the snare, a few toms and the percussion a little here and there so that the listener is still aware that the presence of this element exists; the beats during these times don't even occur at any particular point of emphasis, either.

Even the guitar solo in "Redemption Through Blood" is bastardized, being that it's fast tapping of two frets that slowly climbs the board. The vocals aren't even really worth mentioning as the term 'standard black metal shrieks' is something that's pretty worn into the ground at this point. Although, the Kiss cover song does feature clean vocals and that's a welcome change of pace even if it is the last track of the album. It's obvious that Black Anvil have made a valiant effort to contribute something more than just black metal. While they do unleash a variety of styles that complement each other, what they've failed to do is harness at least one of them. Hail Death reeks of substandard riffs, beats and vocals while lacking any creativity whatsoever, it's as if the band had a checklist of what to incorporate into each song style. If this album crosses your path, save yourself the hour by ignoring it and keep moving on.

Digital Download Provided by: Earsplit PR

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