Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Black Sheep Wall - I'm Going to Kill Myself (Album Review)

Albym Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 26/1/2015
Label: Season of Mist

‘I’m Going to Kill Myself’ CD/DD track listing:

1.    The Wailing and the Gnashing and the Teeth
2.    Tetsuo: The Dead Man
3.    White Pig
4.    Metallica

Black Sheep Wall is

Brandon Gillichbauer | vocals, bass
Scott Turner | guitar, bass
Andrew Hulle | guitar
Jackson Thompson | drums


Sometimes a band comes along that challenges everything you know or thought you knew about heavy music, Californian doom merchants Black Sheep Wall are one such band and the fantastically titled "I'm Going To Kill Myself", the bands third offering, is an entirely rare and unique listening experience.

Things get off to an intense start with "The Wailing and The Gnashing and The Teeth". A grim marching snare drum underpinned by an unsettling clean guitar all of which are accompanied by a vocal filled with agony and rage. It's a 9 minute opener that's as bleak as it is beautiful. "Tetsuo The Dead Man" charges open with a crushing riff and an ear bashing screech that just adds to the discomfort you'll already be experiencing. It's a twisting, formless monster that's impossible to keep track of. The band is taking you further and further down the rabbit hole and it's exhilarating. The decent into the abyss rumbles on with "White Pig". Another rhythmically challenging piece of doom artistry, it's remarkable how the band are able to create such a sense of confusion and madness, it's as though you're trapped in a nightmare state and they'll lead you out when they're good and ready. It delves into sheer brutal dissonance before regaining control with some otherworldly chanting. If you've made it this far, you're about to experience the albums finest moment. A true test even for the most hardened doom fan, the 33 minute closer "Metallica". A sprawling, disjointed, terrifying challenge. It's a track that you the listener have to earn and I can assure you, it's worth it. It begins with a riff that's so relentless it's almost hypnotic. The only thing that keeps you from falling into trance is the nails-on-a-chalkboard vocals. It's difficult to put into words how you'll feel when it's all over but you'll need a rest.

"I'm Going To Kill Myself" is an avant-garde doom masterpiece. It's a truly uncomfortable and unnerving experience (thanks in part to the artwork) that will leave a permanent mark on your psyche. In an era when doom and sludge is on the rise and the 20 minute plus song structures are as popular as ever, it's refreshing to see a current band utilise the formula to truly devastating effect. If you're up to the task, put this on and prepare to be consumed.

Words by: Rhys Miles

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