Monday, November 7, 2016

Sallow : " I: The Great Work"

This was released last year on their own, but I am going to review this album since it is getting a proper release from Sick Man Getting Sick Records. The band in question is Sallow, a black metal band from upstate New York finds the great mix of atmosphere to mix with their moody take on blasting American black metal. The vocals sit back into the wall of sonic fury that is their guitars. The first song "Naked in Moonlit Bliss, Drunk on Fire" is not only a great title but it is only eight and a half minutes long. These day that is fairly restrained when it comes to black metal. The song is colored by a few angular flourishes, but like the bulk of USBM, once it locks into the drone of tremolo it hangs on. At first they  avoid the typical blast beats on the second song  what what sounds like it could be a more romantic take on the genre until they relent and give into their urge to blast the beats. The song breaks down only to build up into a more feral frenzy. The way the screamed distorted in this recording is pretty impressive as they had to be screaming their god damn brains out.

"Nocturnal Reprieve" is almost too straight forward. The vocals here fall back into the guitars. There is yet another interlude of clean guitar, which I can't fault them for wanting to infuse more melody into this song, since that is what it needs, there just feels like it's leaning towards a formula. They speed for for a second into some of the fastest blast beats you have heard, though it doesn't do much for me when they get there. The album's best song is the last. "Der Winter Kalt" comes the closest to touching on depressive black metal. It's more of an emotive song and the dynamics are what helps to convey those emotions. This is also the album's longest song at ten minutes.

Overall these guys are pretty solid. I'll keep an ear out for them. I am not sure this really demands to be on my iPod as it stays the course once they lock into the blasty mcnasty. I think these guys are onto something sonically and this album shows lots of potential. If you are looking for some new Stateside black metal that feels pretty genuine, these guys are worth your time. I'll give this album an 8 since it showed me who they are put fell a little short of standing out as the most original thing in the genre, which is what I need as I already own Ashborer and Fell Voices albums .

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