Tuesday 30 July 2013

Black Boned Angel - The End (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 19/2/2013
Label: Handmade Birds Records

The End, album tracklisting:
1) Part I 20:36
2) Part II 24:17
3) 16:23
It's only fitting that the final offering from NZ drone duo Black Boned Angel (named after a Godflesh track) should be called 'The End'. If it is indeed to be a swansong of sorts, then providing the potential soundtrack to the end of all things is pretty sweet. Split into 3 gargantuan parts, listening to this record is like driving into a wall repeatedly at speed, having it recorded, and then watched in slow motion playback. It's pretty unsettling.
'Part I' reaches just over the 20 minute mark, and is fairly digestible to begin with. It's an epic build that's flanked by distortion and noise, the likes of which I reckon would make Justin Broadrick very proud. From about the 13 minute mark onwards though it becomes not too dissimilar to that sensation of swallowing a crisp that you haven't broken down enough in your mouth yet. That sharp pain that you get at the back of your throat? Yeah that, but in your ears. Salt and Vinegar destruction in audio form. Just feedback and weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth. BRILLIANT.
'Part II' is, within its formative stage, a welcome reprieve. Beautiful ambient sounds rest within your senses, and there is even some kind of Gregorian chants subtly merged into the very faint background. And so it continues for about the first 5 minutes, until everything goes all Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson on us. To be fair, it's actually slightly lighter than Sunn O))), but it's still ominous as fuck. The beats have that industrial feel to them, like they were recorded in the 80s, which is nice. And the end of the track is actually quite serene, with a dreamy, almost ethereal state. The vision on display here is truly wide in scope.
'Part III' wastes little time, and is instantly loud and riff laden. The size of the guitar sound on the recording is absolutely HUGE, and a sincere joy to behold for all lovers of the loud. To get the absolute most out of you have to play it at substantial volume, to listen otherwise would be doing it an injustice. This final part, over 16 minutes in length, really sucks you in and holds you close. The operatic vocals that you can barely make out should seem pretty fucking weird or out of place, but they fit the mood perfectly. The fact that they were even considered in the first place should be a fair sign of the level of musical creativity on display here. By the time the white noise conclusion fades out, you're no longer where you were when you started. You've been transported elsewhere, and re-moulded.
To have this submitted as the final work for any band, let alone BBA, would surely satisfy not only any diehard fan, but any creator involved too. I hope that they are happy with 'The End', because it's a work of crushing beauty and heavy splendour.
Finality never sounded so vital. You need this in your life.
Words by : Matt Fitton
As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy this release here. This record is available now.  Thanks to Catharsis PR for hooking us up.