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Black Land : Extreme Heavy Psych

Black Land deliver the goods with a crunchy Rock-attitude.

This second Black Land album, basically, has two distinct faces: on the one hand, it's Punk-ish, raw Rock and on the other hand, itís plain Doom. It can be rough and very direct-in-your face one minute and the next, it's sinister, anxious and gloomy music, built on simple choruses and rolling and repetitive riffs, enhanced by short solo-ing spurts and a groovy bass that gives an eerie touch to the band's sound (the bass playing really is something to behold). However, the songs can take many detours and show rather complex songwriting abilities - which reminds me a little of the deconstructed melodies of Circle, or the groove-drenched swing of Helmet.

When the 'Punk-ish' side becomes prominent, the gloom dissolves and turns into a savage outlawsí party - the dry drumming (sometimes delivering almost d-beat motifs) and the rough voice bring that sense of urgency. I must confess I have a problem with the singer, though: not that he sounds bad per se, but he systematically barks his tunes and ends up becoming way too monotonous.

The use of electronic effects, droning and whirling, as well as the almost inevitable movie samples, convey a bizarre and twisted horror vibe that adds a lot of atmosphere to their little vintage circus. This is in fact so vintage that it already kind of sounds classic, as if you had already heard these songs before... The music sounds fluent and lively, it has a warming charm, it runs straightforwardly: so much so that it immediately propels you in a late sixties venue, inviting you to join the smoking crowd and to start tapping your feet and nodding your head.

Abrasive growls come to remind you youíre listening to a modern Metal album, those sudden touches of aggressiveness are just a perfect idea: it's an extra dark edge that brings about some welcome complexity to the archaic moods preached by the band.

On the whole, these guys deliver the goods with a crunchy Rock attitude that, I must say, sounds a tad too repetitive in the long run and the album occasionally tends to drag; there are good ideas, though, and their talent as musicians isnít to be questioned. Itís nothing astonishing or mesmerizing, but 'just' a good olí ride spiced up with some inventive precious melodic moments (bass work, psychedelic solos, weird electronics) that manage to keep you interested till the end.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Psych Nį1
2. Black Wizard
3. Life and Death
4. Drowning Deeply
5. R'n'R Gate
6. Holy Weed of the Cosmos (The Great Ritual)
7. From the Black to the Rainbow
8. Victims of the Cast

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the Black Land bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-01-18 by Bertrand marchal
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