An extremely patchy record

Hailing from New York City and having been spewed forth from the remains of legendary underground NYC band Kill Your Idols, this power trio release their second album Triumvirate.

Making an un-godly racket for a three piece, and much like their peers and American tour mates Goatwhore, Black Anvil’s sound is a mash up of primal black and death metal with the slightest touch of sludge and thrash and while it’s a suitably dirty affair, the aptly under-polished production doesn’t take away from the songs.

Expectably the tunes are bathed in riffs and pulverising drum work, but a majority of them lack memorable hooks, and combined with Paul Delaney’s grating vocals, at least half of Triumvirate ends up becoming fairly repetitive and uninspiring. But there are diamonds in the coal, with the driving tempo of “Ultimate Reality” and very early-Mastodon sounding “We Own You” clear standouts, while it’s the closing “With Transparent Blood”, with its hint of Motörhead-style rawk n roll, that’s the highlight of the album. It’s just frustrating that the rest of the record pales in comparison to the select tracks, as “What Is Life If Life Not Now!”, “The Evil Of All Roots”, “Angels of Dust” and “Scalping” could basically be the same song repeated over and over again with the same blast beat drum pattern and messy guitar work anchoring the aforementioned tunes.

It’s a disappointing album, because Black Anvil are one of those bands that are ‘cool’ to like due to their underground appeal but have failed to live up to their hype. To be fair they achieve their goals by sounding raw and retro quite comfortably, but sadly with an extremely patchy record in Triumvirate it’s very hard to see them ascending up the metal hierarchy any time soon.

1. What is Life if Not Now!
2. Crippling
3. The Evil of All Roots
4. Ultimate Reality
5. We Own You
6. Scalping
7. Eliminate
8. Dead and Left
9. With Transparent Blood
10. Veadtuck