Black Sheep Wall - Songs For The Enamel Queen review




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Band: Black Sheep Wall
Album: Songs For The Enamel Queen
Release date: February 2021


01. Human Shaped Hole
02. New Measures Of Failure
03. Concrete God
04. Ballad Of A Flawed Animal
05. Ren
06. Mr. Gone
07. Prayer Sheet For Wound and Nail


You don't just release an album called I'm Going To Kill Myself and then disappear for six years. I was concerned.

I first got to know Black Sheep Wall, whatever that band name means, back in 2015, when they released I'm Going To Kill Myself, which I mostly remembered for the hilarious cover art and that overly repetitive 33-minute closer called "Metallica". Revisiting their discography, after a few years of exploration into hardcore and metal, I found their blend of atmospheric sludge metal and skramz a lot better than I remembered it being. And even if most sludge metal has some traces of hardcore into it, Black Sheep Wall are legit sludgecore.

Songs For The Enamel Queen brings forth elements from all previous releases, whether the misanthropy of I Am God Songs, the slightly jammier tones of No Matter Where It Ends, or the crushing drone despair of I'm Going To Kill Myself, each has its place in Songs For The Enamel Queen. But it's not just a merging of previous records. It feels like it amped up the screamo part of Black Sheep Wall's sound. The vocals are the side where that's the most obvious, but it seeps into a lot of the instrumentation as well, even if for the most part it stays into hardcore sludge territories. But an even more obvious push is into more complex mathy territories. In between the long-form drone sludge tracks, the shorter tracks feel vitriolic in their chaos and more technical in their structures.

The album moves the paces from dirges to moshes, and the soundscapes from sludge, hardcore, screamo, post-rock, brass, post-metal, metalcore, doom metal and drone to mathcore, but what remains constant is the despair that is seeping from Brandon Gillichbauer's vocals and the raw and unhinged lyricism that results. The range that this album has is fantastic, but all of it is converging to a single point: pain. There are generally very few albums where a person can scream lyrics in your face in such a way to make you genuinely feel them. There's a certain poignancy to the way that Black Sheep Wall approach depression, misanthropy and self-hatred that really sets them apart, so it's even more impactful when they've got the musical muscle to back it up regardless of the angle they're approaching it from.

In its almost hour-long runtime, there may be some moments where it feels like it drags on too much, but it also feels like they're making up for the six years absence, while also making sure we get that things didn't get any better in the meantime.



 



Written on 19.03.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 2   Visited by: 65 users
19.03.2021 - 13:50
musclassia

Yeah, it's a tough, quite vicious listen, being at the crossroads between abrasive styles like sludge, hardcore and mathcore, but it's a good solid album. Looking at the comments on the previous album's thread, that one was not so good.
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19.03.2021 - 13:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 19.03.2021 at 13:50

Yeah, it's a tough, quite vicious listen, being at the crossroads between abrasive styles like sludge, hardcore and mathcore, but it's a good solid album. Looking at the comments on the previous album's thread, that one was not so good.

I'd say most of the negative reaction is from that one "Metallica" track, which really felt like more of a statement than an actual song.
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