Friday, January 20, 2017
BLACK ANVIL - As Was review
BLACK ANVIL - As Was
A week ago I viewed an advance video promo of a song from BLACK ANVIL's latest album. About a minute in I started to laugh but that's not unusual since I've been laughing at BLACK ANVIL since their inception. Hell I was laughing at em when they were still KILL YOUR IDOLS. Nowadays I laugh at music scribes who use the term "legendary New York Hardcore band" when describing that Long Island band. Listen up kiddies, first era New York Hardcore bands like The UNDEAD, NIHILISTICS and HEART ATTACK are legendary. Second era NYHC bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS and MURPHY'S LAW are legendary. Once the eighties ended so did the whole hardcore scene. What followed in the nineties was a pale comparison.
KILL YOUR IDOLS were from Long Island and came out in 1995, I repeat 1995. At first they were part of what was dubbed "street punk" because if you said Oi then the commies at Maximum Rock & Roll and their leftist ilk called ya racist. They went from 1995 to 2007 and were a third tier band at best throughout their career. After so many band member changes they sped up their sound from street punk to posi-core (aka: positive, lyrically non-violent hardcore). In other words it was fast music for pussies so if you grew up to that thinking it was cool NYHC then you're a pussy. If you got into em by listening to college radio in-between songs by GREEN DAY and RANCID then you're a bigger pussy.
So how do members of a NY posi-core band turn into a black metal band a year after breaking up? Well in 2008 black metal was cool it was hip and suddenly non-metalheads were jumping on board for a thrill ride. So hey if you're a bunch of musicians looking to get paying gigs than hey just blacken up your sound and hey you're instant black metal for a new crowd of pussies who despise the real stuff. Seriously check out their first album and you'll think alright any talented musician can mimic black metal albeit with too many hints of hardcore and thrash. Of course the black metal fans laughed at em but hey the hipster pussies at Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan ate it up. BLACK ANVIL was black metal for indie rock losers who hate black metal as well as almost all really extreme metal.
And so a few albums later and here we are with their latest As Was. The band is now dubbed by the hipster media as "modern black metal" which means not really black metal. The opening cut, "On Forgotten Ways" sounds like something ENSLAVED threw away and those clean harmony vocals remind me of QUEEN. The song goes from trying to be black metal and switches to indie rock flourishes. And this band is opening for MAYHEM? Fuck You! Get Off The Stage! Second cut, "May Her Wrath Be Just", wow someone in the band bought a newer MARDUK CD and is copying the vocal style of Mortuus. It doesn't last long because the indie rock girly man background vocals chime in and just ruins everything. I've had to endure listening to this a half dozen times so the initial pain is over with. Yeah I'm numb but I'll continue.
The title track is where it really gets interesting as in, wow someone in the band bought a European Gothic Doom metal CD and they're influenced by it. I know that's bullshit. They probably heard something on Spotify and stole it. Hiptardo scribes call this progressive and atmospheric. The songs moves into straight forward rock riffs as well with the lead singer's (the bass player) raspy vocals chiming in all over. And I have to endure this crap live at a club that's probably gonna charge $10 a beer? Hell I'll be broke before their set ends. Wow what a show that's gonna be. You'll have True Norwegian Black Metal, some former S. American racists who now call Washington State home and these four hipsters from Brooklyn, all for $25 a ticket. And trust me that's not a bad thing I said about the second band.
So on the fourth cut titled "Nothing" they start out as a blackened NEUR-ISIS act then kick into some more MARDUK territory. It all had me thinking so-called progressive black metal is just aimless musicians tossing together a bunch of stolen pieces and calling it their own. I mean at the end of "Nothing" they kick into hair metal rocking. And it just keeps getting worse for the next four cuts. I know it's just January and I'll probably hear some more phony bands but for right now this really sucks. I guess the last laugh is how this release is being peddled by their label. "NYBM quartet BLACK ANVIL return with As Was, a staggering complex and thought provoking work of modern black metal art". Well it did provide me with a lot of provoked thoughts which you just read.