(TW: This review features topics related to depression, death, and suicide, take care of yourself and don’t read this if you aren’t in a healthy mental state where this type of content could bother you, your life is precious and there are people who care about you. <3)
Written by: Izzy
When people think of depressing music, often they think of albums like A Crow Looked At Me, Carrie & Lowell, Skeleton Tree, Deathconsciousness, or maybe Sunbather. Albums built on an atmosphere of helplessness, ones that allow everything to slowly sink into your pores, the malaise of existence, the yearning for more, the needless tragedy of death, the feeling that nothing will ever get better. Rarely do people think of an album as aggressively depressing, one that beats itself against your skull over and over again, screaming into your ears the throes and deepest depths of human emotion where not even sadness can lie, where all that’s left is rage. In a word: Black Sheep Wall’s I’m Going To Kill Myself.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
If you told me at the beginning of the year that one of the best sludge metal albums I’d hear in 2020 would come from two Japanese girls… I’d lean in closer and ask you to tell me more. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, when women are involved in making hard rock and metal on the doomy side of things, it tends to be pretty damn good more often than not. Some of my favorite albums from the past couple of years have been from bands like Windhand, Castle, and Electric Citizen. And this year we’ve already had great albums from Konvent and Lucifer. Well, get ready to add BlackLab to the pile.
As mentioned, BlackLab is a doom and sludge duo from Japan, made up of guitarist and vocalist Yuko Morino and drummer Chia Shiraishi. Abyss is their second album. Being a duo in the doom metal world requires some sonic creativity to get your sound sufficiently heavy and thick. I’m not sure what witchcraft Morino has employed, but her guitar tone is freakin’ huge! And these riffs aren’t just fuzzy, they’re downright filthy. We’re talking trve slvdge, Houdini-era Melvins levels of nasty. Along with down-tuning, a sub-octave can be heard filling out the bottom end. I don’t know if Morino dubbed in a bass guitar or if she split her signal into an octave pedal, but there is certainly no lack of low end here. She’s also the kind of guitarist who uses feedback to her advantage.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!