Black Anvil


Written by: EW on 07/11/2010 09:52:59

I wonder how extreme metal circa 2010 will be looked back upon by those of us still suckling from it's crusty teat in 10-15 years and what particular trends and styles will be seen to have dominated certain years as I find myself repeatedly listening to "Triumvirate", Black Anvil's second album, thinking what a good record it is yet how it also never gives the impression of an album rising majestically from the hordes. Are the standards that high these days that a record as solid as this one, a blackened thrash tome with a spitting Bolt Thrower influence at it's heart, can't get this reviewer's hairs standing on end, or is it that the sheer proliferation of bands across every conceivable style is making it hard to discern which areas are truly the most exciting and where the most innovation is taking place? I'll leave that thought for you to ponder on..

I knew nothing of Black Anvil before this record but their being on Relapse (given the meaty and clinical production job that fact was pretty quickly obvious) and describing their sound to another novice these New Yorkers would be something along the lines of Goatwhore meeting Bolt Thrower for a war games session with Mayhem arriving fashionably late. It's not done as powerfully or as gritty as England's finest but there is a grand power to many of BA's riffs in the likes of "Ultimate Reality" and "Dead and Left" that recall the sound of rolling tanks that is essentially Bolt Thrower's entire discography as considerably more of "Triumvirate" ends up at such a speed that would be expected from the opening to the "What Is Life If Life Not Now!" and more Scandic BM tracks "Angels To Dust" and "The Evil Of All Roots". The mixed pace of tracks "We Own You" and "Eliminate" fluctuate between the boring and intriguing before it is "Dead And Left" that seals the album's 'Best Track' prize for it's grinding, brutal assault which perhaps, not without coincidence, examines my ability to try sit still through a track without banging the mane in approval (result: impossible).

"Triumvirate" is not the home for extreme metal innovation as the lead vocals project venom no more or less than many of our other Relapse-based friends and the spirit of innovation key to all leaders in not to be found, but I would have a hard time not recommending it to any friend fond of a spot of 21st Century black/thrash/death in their diet. Black Anvil may be no rank Major but they are, on this basis, another Sergeant in the prolific and powerfully strong army of metal ready to die for the cause.


Download: Dead And Left, What Is Life If Life Not Now!, Angels To Dust
For the fans of: Bolt Thrower, Goatwhore, Mayhem, Watain, God Dethroned
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.09.2010
Relapse Records

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