Review 1460 : Black Lava – Soul Furnace – English

Black Lava bursts into fire for its first album.

Formed in Australia between lockdowns by Dan Presland (drums, Vipassi, A Million Dead Birds Laughing, ex-Ne Obliviscaris) and Ben Boyle (guitar, Vipassi, A Million Dead Birds Laughing, Hadal Maw), the band quickly recruited Rob Watkins (vocals, Hadal Maw, The Red Shore, Blackhelm) and Tim Anderson (bass, Blackhelm) in order to conceive of Soul Furnace, which comes out on Season of Mist in 2022.

Origins is the first track to enchant us with its dissonant melodies before hitting us with a heavy old school touch, either on slow riffs or on this fierce blast, then Aurora unveils more aggressive and energetic sounds while keeping this oppressive touch. Raw vocals joins the abrasive and violently catchy mix, completing the devastating efficiency of this heady track, while Black Blizzard reveals heavy tones, like the few disturbing lyrics which join the aggressive and suffocating basis. The jerky final drops us on Baptised in Ice, a track with a very Punkish energy which lets crushing riffs set the stage for visceral screams before letting some wild and unhealthy accelerations grab us by the throat. Eye of the Moon follows with cold and majestic melodies which perfectly fit with this simple but sharp basis while offering some dissonant harmonics, which also continue on Northern Dawn and its martial and dark tones. The raw aggressiveness perfectly fits with the track’s unhealthy and apocalyptic atmosphere, which slows down to lead us to Necrocatacomb, a rather short composition with very straightforward patterns which will surely make many dirty mix lovers nod. Nightshade presents a similar approach between Black Metal’s dissonance and Death Metal’s solid riffs often covered by an uncompromising blast, then Soul Furnace, the eponymous track, comes to close the album with the darkest and most disturbing sounds the band has produced so far through a chopped and oppressive rhythmic.

With Soul Furnace, Black Lava makes a first decisive step in the Black/Death scene. The band uncompromisingly asserts its unhealthy, cold and dissonant roots through extremely effective riffs.


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