Black Sites - Exile review




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Band: Black Sites
Album: Exile
Release date: April 2019


01. The Night They Came For You
02. To The Fire
03. Feral Child
04. Coal City
05. Dream Long Dead
06. Focused Totality - The Psychic Knife
07. Prolonging
08. Dwell Upon The End
09. En Force [Queensrÿche cover] [bonus]
10. You Won't Change Me [Black Sabbath cover] [bonus]


I reviewed a lot of albums in 2019, but there are also a lot of albums that I wanted to review but didn't find the time and energy to do so. What a better Christmas gift for those than to review as many of those as I can. Let's start with Black Sites.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Mark Sugar after departing from thrashers Trials, Black Sites is pretty much a traditional heavy metal band, with Exile being their second album. Now when I say traditional heavy metal take that with as much salt as you want, because Black Sites are really not just another sword and sandals speed metal or anything like that, in fact the closest I can name as a comparison band would be Queensrÿche but with Jon Bush of Armored Saint on vocals. And even that may not do them enough justice.

While the core is definitely still heavy metal, Black Sites take it in a lot of progressive directions, even gothic rock ("Dream Long Dead"), never really going into speed or power metal territories. So you won't hear nothing in terms of either harsh vocals or falsettos or anything of the sorts. In fact, one clear way to tell that this isn't speed metal is that none of the tracks are really "fast", but none of them are really doom metal "slow" either, finding comfort in however large that mid-pace gets for them, but they do well enough to keep each track unique both from a pace and from a sound point of view. From the aforementioned goth rock songs, to longer progressive and almost ballad-like long ones like "Coal City".

I'm not really such a fan of the production that kinda leaves the bass without enough of a presence even though it can still be clearly heard, but this is clearly an album that puts emphasis on the dual guitar play between the two guitarists more than anything, other than obviously the vocals. So there is a lot to like about the guitar play and the vocal delivery here, mostly about how it manages to keep things interesting and diverse with that relatively limited mid-paced clean vocals range in which they placed themselves, and also it's great to hear something that is undeniably heavy metal but doesn't sound like pastiche of the bygone 80s. Of course that you can still pinpoint some sounds that precede them, they haven't came up with something completely new, but they don't sound like they're going for rehashing a specific sound.

So with both its originality and complexity, Black Sites are really a band to look out for, especially for people tired of the same old sounds in their heavy metal, but also for people who love the same old sounds in their heavy metal as well as just heavy metal in general.






 



Written on 25.12.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 94 users
25.12.2019 - 12:38
nikarg
Mod
This is one of this year's very good heavy metal albums indeed. "Dream Long Dead" is quite different from the rest of the songs and it's excellent.
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25.12.2019 - 12:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 25.12.2019 at 12:38

This is one of this year's very good heavy metal albums indeed. "Dream Long Dead" is quite different from the rest of the songs and it's excellent.

Yeah, it was really great coming back to this record, I kinda missed how different that song was on first listen

Also make sure you don't miss that big ass "Next review" button
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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25.12.2019 - 12:47
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 25.12.2019 at 12:42

Also make sure you don't miss that big ass "Next review" button

Dafuq? I did miss it before you mentioned it. What have you done? 10 reviews as a Christmas gift?
Fucking wow
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25.12.2019 - 12:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 25.12.2019 at 12:47

Dafuq? I did miss it before you mentioned it. What have you done? 10 reviews as a Christmas gift?
Fucking wow

Just flexing
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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25.12.2019 - 13:56
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This is good
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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11.01.2021 - 13:08
tintinb
Really good music. Not that sickly sweet cheesy heavy metal. Tasty riffs too. Also dwell on the end sounded somewhat like a voivod song.
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