Do you like thrash metal? Do you like black metal? Have you wondered what a black metal version of ANVIL would sound like (because of the name…nevermind)? Then the following is for you as I cover the latest release from BLACK ANVIL called Hail Death. Okay, I confess, I’ve been sitting on that remark for a while, but ANVIL in fact has nothing to do with the BLACK ANVIL name. In fact, for the trivial purpose of a long car ride to see them play live, BLACK ANVIL’s name comes from a cross-reference of BLACK SABBATH and a JUDAS PRIEST song. While I have reviewed thrash metal for A&GS more than a couple of times now, I will say that I had a hard time keeping up with this album. I found myself focusing on the fast picking riffs and melodies more than the vocal patterns or lyrics. Musically, I liked what I heard and that is why I was able to listen to the album multiple times in its entirety. Vocally, it was very black metal, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. I, personally, haven’t ever really dabbled in that scene, so I don’t know what to look for when referencing good black metal vocals. That being said, the strings and the drummer got my attention throughout.
What already stands out to me about BLACK ANVIL is that they are the first black thrash band that I have reviewed which hasn’t been around for over a decade. In fact, the group, based out of New York City, has only been around since 2007. Hail Death will be their third studio release. The album will be released on Relapse Records who signed them for the release ofTriumvirate back in 2010. Hail Death is considered by bassist Paul Delaney to be rock n’ roll sounding because the songs are a little longer and more structured. I can agree with that statement completely because I had the impression to call some these songs out for flirting with the line between black thrash metal and black n’ roll.
Either way, the sound was dark, but attractive in ways where you just still wanted to follow the thrashing riffs and rock grooves to see where each song took you. Also the band experimented and stuck with three vocalists in a metal group just like recently reviewed supergroup KILLER BE KILLED did. Not only is BLACK ANVIL sticking to a creative genre, but they are also giving a more innovative performance with a bassist, a guitarist, and a drummer as vocalists.
Hail Death is not an album that I would say is for everyone, but I definitely think that people give the genre of black n’ roll or black thrash an opportunity after listening to it. I’ve heard of these guysbefore I listened to this record and it really opened my eyes to what I believe is a good resource of untapped metal and rock n’ roll that is missing from most playlists. If you are a fan of bands such as SODOM or DARKTHRONE then BLACK ANVIL may be a band that opens you up to a newer sound that you aren’t yet used to, but may in fact enjoy. A couple of my personal favorite tracks are “Still Reborn” and “Eventide” because of the great progression of riffs through what is clearly a black thrash sound. When Hail Death comes out on May 27 you heard it here, from Amps and Green Screens, to give it a listen. For loyal fans, pre-orders are already on sale.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Still Reborn”, “Eventide”, “Seven Stars Unseen”, “E.N.O.N.”, “N”, “Next Level Black”
WRITTEN BY MR. REESE