Friday, December 2, 2016
Black Anvil : "As Was"
It starts off with a pretty polished and dynamic hammering that is equal part classic metal and black metal so in some ways not unlike post- "Lawless Darkness" Watain. The clean vocals are well placed here. Though the intensity eventually picks up "May Her Wrath Be Just" starts off in a way that might as well be Trivium. The clean vocals here give it more of a mainstream metal feel. There is a darker pulse to the song that I appreciate. There is a more Metallica feel to the title track before the scowled vocals come in. This is a much slower paced song that comes close to being a power ballad. "Nothing" finds the band at the peak of their powers when they are locking into a more classic thrash style. Overall the song doesn't blow me away but does have some timeless moments.
It's the droning atmosphere buried into the meat of "As An Elder Learned Anew" that gives it it's personality and finds the clean vocals working a better balance.The double bass is dialed up to 11 on "Two Keys Here's the Lock". Well executed by still a little more middle of the road. The blasting toward the end of the song feels a little obligatory. The flow back and forth into the melodic sections is not formulaic. I prefer the more understated slacker croon to the vocals on "Ultra". The double bass doesn't let up. They sweeten the cauldron with a pretty rock god guitar solo.
I think this will gain the band new fans , but doesn't strike me as being a sell out. It might not be the heaviest album you are going to hear all year, but it is a very intentional and well thought out one. I will give it a 9, since it is another step of growth for them.