Hailing from the United Kingdom, BLACK TONGUE have reissued their first two EPs in a single package dubbed Born Hanged / Falsifier [Redux] via Century Media Records. I generally don’t listen to bands that fall into the down-tempo category or Doomcore as they call it, but they caught my attention with one of their tracks and I figured I’d give them a shot to see what they are all about.
I checked out the track listings for each EP and noticed that they rearranged the songs to keep things interesting. “Eclipse” opens this disc up and I think they could have chosen a more dynamic song because this one seemed to drag out clocking in at six and a half minutes; it’s just a little too slow for my taste. The following “Fauxhammer” quickly pulled me back in with its vibrato riffs and the drums desirably picking up the pace as well as the fitting eerie outro. I really enjoyed the growls on “Purgatory” but I found myself getting a little bored until the second half kicked in with the tempo brought to double time but that was the only other highlight.
I noticed that although this group is super heavy, they are still very rooted in Hardcore which was showcased through “Voices”. I almost liked this tune until they threw in these weird skips that made me cringe; some of you might be into that but I feel it was really unnecessary. “Forshadow” is a bunch of ridiculous growls that lead into “Waste” which is one of the strongest offerings and stood out with more of a no-bullshit feel. This half way mark is where I started becoming interested again. “Ire Upon the Earth” is the most aesthetic and fucking brutal of them all; the drums are huge and the groove is strong making this my favorite headbanging song.
Moving into the next section it’s quite obvious that “Interlude” takes us into “Falsifier” keeping me enticed with the quick pace and actual riffs as opposed to chugs and again the drummer really stands out. There are also two different styles of screaming going on here that mesh very well. I realize that not all heavy music has crazy guitar work or solos, but that is a huge factor in whether I like a band or not. The only saving grace in groups that lack in those departments is the actual songwriting. There is a huge difference in being heavy for the sake of being heavy, but nothing competes with well written music. That brings me to “Blight” which is a cool song with good rhythms but that’s about it. Half of these tracks lack substance.
“Coma” features Matt Jones of MARTYR DEFILED and his performance opposite Alex Teyen is outstanding on this track; this is the one that grabbed my attention with the message, “Send me to Hell ‘cause I don’t give a fuck!” I had to check them out. This album does have its high and low points but it was somewhat hard to listen to in full sittings. “H.C.H.C.” stepped it up a bit more but the closing “A Pale Procession” proved to be a strong finisher. Once again the lyrical content caught my ears which is very surprising and the ominous riffs under all the chunking fit just right.
The more I listened to Born Hanged / Falsifier [Redux] it did grow on me but I feel that BLACK TONGUE is a unique group in the fact that they don’t really fall into any genre. They’re not Doom, Sludge, Death or Hardcore but as I said earlier you could call them Doomcore. You really need to have an ear for this type of music or just be really stoned, either way if you like THE ACACIA STRAIN you will dig this stuff, but I will most likely only be jamming a few tracks in the future.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Fauxhammer”, “Waste”, “Ire Upon the Earth”, “Coma”, “A Pale Procession”
WRITTEN BY JOR-EL