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The best thing about these guys is ████████████ - 74%

joncheetham88, January 29th, 2013

Not usually one to keep abreast of the vast legions of mediocre post-black metal bands clogging up the more environmentally friendly and lentil-eating record labels and metal blogspots of the world, there is no way these bizarro fucks would have enticed my attention normally. But seeing ██████'s incredibly internet-unfriendly moniker stirred me to the crucial click, and then seeing the cold, industrial way in which this "black strip" was rendered got me interested. Not to mention the fantastic, almost Mgła-esque minimalist artwork. Anyone who can make a simple black strip into a cool logo might be able to also do something worthwhile with the tired post-black metal genre, went my logic. They are also Czech and at this point I am in an explorative phase with the music of my new host country (wading grumpily through a festering pile of intellectually mothballed NSBM clowns has thus far turned up very few Maniac Butchers and Master's Hammers).

My immediate comparison would be Altar Of Plagues before they entirely ran out of ideas (after White Tomb, that is), although ██████ have a somewhat looser sound, atmospherically wallowing in well-rendered downcastness that traverses various tempos. The "alt" rock plague lifts its spotty adolescent head only once in a while, toward the end of 'I' for example, but thankfully a metamorphosis into more acceptably blackened territory isn't far behind. Distant, shrieked vocals, nothing special. Pretty nice, walking basslines that gives the songs some motivation. The guitars are a fairly trebly, tinny affair, but with a decent amount of dissonance. The drums are actually of particularly excellent nature given the band's newness and the members' lack of connections, hissing and scattering along with gentle precision during the quieter builds and oft erupting into tight blasts (see 'III') and dramatic, rocking sections.

There are some fine moments that qualify as highlights. 'II' gets going pretty raw, and for me would have made a better opening to the demo - get the cunts hooked with with the unbridled ferocity you clearly are capable of. 'III' has a great, pounding intro with French-sounding tremolo-picked accents before another exciting explosion into a staggering, tempo-upheaving slice of pretty legit black.

Personally I'm glad there's no fucking eco-terrorist nature-worshipping bullshit apparent on this 'ere recording, but for those already into various post-black bands, this is worth a look. And based on my reaction, the more selective black metal listener might enjoy it too. This demo is available for free from the band or for less than the price of a packet of Czech cigarettes on Bandcamp. Despite the fact they are from beer capital Plzen, it actually goes well with a pint of Kozel dark and the window open onto the chilly Central European weather (trust me). Me, I'll try and get down to a gig and see what these guys can do in a live setting, not to mention I'll be very keen to see whether they can maintain this worthy appropriation of the knackered post-black genre through future recordings.