Sunday, 24 June 2012

Black Hole Of Calcutta - S/T LP


If you're anything like me, there are some bands that you read about and think "yeah, they're why I got into heavy music", and Black Hole of Calcutta are one such band. A band that you can't pin down to any specific genre but a band that seem to embody everything you like about heavy music. So when I got asked to review their LP, I could hardly say no.

This is their latest LP, that was released in January, via Give Praise Records and I Feel Good Records.

Tracklist:-

1. Myth Of Progress
2. Age of Extinction
3. Truth is Never Told
4. Total Collapse
5. Cirrhosis
6. Genetic Control
7. No Turning Back
8. Nightmares
9. Educate
10. No Regrets
11. Arm The Hopeless
12. Vultures

BHOC start off with a sludge/Doom inspired track called Myth of Progress. It's a slow burn of an opening song, with bass heavy riffage and striking drum rhythms. It suddenly bursts into life about one and a half minutes in and spews forth, fast and angry grind/power-violence with crazily fast drumming, Punk-infused riffs and absolutely rabid screams. I love the slow riffs at both ends of this opener, purely for the atmosphere they give off.

From here of in, things get a lot faster. Age of Extinction is a sub two-minute punked-up blast that leaves no room for breath. Truth is Never Told follows in the same vein. Those screams are properly intense too. I've not heard any as angry as this for a long time. Total Collapse is forty seconds of grinding mayhem, bisected by sudden stops and brutal crusty doom riffs.

The riffs at the start of Cirrhosis are more akin to razor black metal riffs. There are so many elements to BHOC's music that you may as well forget about categorisation and just headbang! Genetic Control is another grinding mass of crazed screams and breakneck drumming. Thanks to the production here, the record sounds huge. The vocals are most prevalent, but when the other instruments are allowed space to breathe, the effect is huge. When all playing together, it's utterly mental!

No Turning Back is the fastest song on display, yet BHOC still manage to fill it with some brilliant, Mastodon inspired guitar. Nightmares starts off more mid-paced, with some more great punk elements, before unleashing more rip-roaring grind fueled madness. It's actually quite amazing how many different elements BHOC can fit into their songs. The different genre styles and pace changes are infused into their music with ease.

Educate just blasts along with no histrionics and No Regrets fuses itself to your synapse with the help of caustic screams and subtle progressive riffs underneath. The sound of the drums and specifically the cymbals add elements of disorientating madness.

This brings you to the final two tracks, the fast Arm The Hopeless, over in the blink of an eye and Vultures, which displays more of their hardcore sensibilities and just smashes you into submission. When I say hardcore though, I mean more of your Integrity/Strife style hardcore and not your tough guy, slam dancing stuff. The song finishes off the album the way it started, with more epic doom riffs and slower paced dirge.

In summary, this record may only have a playing time of about twenty minutes, but my god is it worth it. Thanks to the variation and skill on show, it seems to last a lot longer and is thoroughly worth multiple listens. Black Hole of Calcutta add another element to the grind/power-violence blueprint and strive to write music their way. Definitely ones to watch, if you're not yet familiar with them.

You can stream the whole LP for free via BHOC's bandcamp page below:-


You can also digital copies of the LP direct from the page.

You can also buy physical copies of this LP from the below labels:-
Give Praise Records - http://www.givepraiserecords.com/
I Feel Good Records - http://www.ifeelgoodrecords.com/

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