Black Anvil, the New York Based Blackened Thrash Metal act is ready to return with a brand new album Hail Death. This would be their third one after releasing two albums Time Insults the Mind in 2008 and Triumvirate in 2010. Band started their career with a sound more inspired from the Hardcore music scene which they actually came from. Playing in a bunch of NYC Hardcore bands (the most famous one being the legendary Kill Your Idols, this made their debut album sound a little Hardcore-like yet Blackened Thrash. On the second album, Triumvirate, they appeared to have a less Hardcore/Thrash tune and focused more on Black Metal atmosphere, which allowed them to successfully create the sound they had been looking for. But after four years since their last album, by their third album they don’t want to focus on a specific genre yet it seems they’re still looking a bit more to construct their music on Black Metal basis.
On Hail Death you can feel the band’s music is getting more dynamic, as well as exploring and experiencing some new sounds in songwriting. With addition of Sos, the fourth member as the second guitar player, band show that they’re interested to expand the progression of writing heavy music, sounding bulky and strong both on studio albums and live performances. In contrast with the two previous albums, Hail Death has longer songs, the opening and ending tracks “Still Reborn” and “Next Level Black” are respectively 9 and 11 minutes long. Writing longer songs lets the band have enough time to seek in riffs, tempos and tunes.
This makes their music more recognizable to listeners who are trying to explore their music roots and have some fun with them as well! Album gets off with “Still Reborn,” which has a classic guitar on intro, then after around a minute they shift the music onto the faster parts with Thrashy riffs and they carry the fast beats through to the next two songs. On the fourth song, “Seven Stars Unseen” we hear band’s effort in finding new horizons in their music, similar to what they try to do on the sixth song, “Until the End,” which starts with a clean guitar arpeggio and a brilliant undertone guitar solo. Both of these songs are slow with heavy power chords. In this album, slow songs clearly represent the band’s new direction of music and show how they are open to work with different types of tempos or genres. But Black Anvil still haven’t forgotten their roots and did put some Hardcore vibes on songs such as “Redemption Through Blood” and “N.” After all Hail Death is still an angry yet melodic album. Perhaps the more surprising and interesting part of Hail Death is the KISS cover song “Under the Rose” included in the album as the bonus song. You can hear clean vocals throughout the song, which is rarity when it comes to Black Anvil and it’s pretty amazing.
Hail Death is a successful album and it all comes down to writing longer songs and not being afraid of testing and using variations of genres. Production is more similar to their debut album Time Insults the Mind, distorted crusty atmosphere lays beneath the songs’ surface, making music instruments sound heavier and darker. This adds some bold heavyweight obscurity to Black Anvil’s monstrous music and as a result the album is portrayed much stronger, unlike their debut album or even the second one.
Black Anvil might not have found their unique place and originality in music yet, but their latest album Hail Death shows band’s potential to build their own music stronghold, gaining more attention and audience, which they absolutely deserve. Hail Death stands as their finest release of their career to date.
by Arash Khosronejad | Twitter: (@arashkh)
Label: Relapse Records
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 05/27/2014
Band info: Facebook